Eight foreign based online sportsbooks in United States, along with a lonely bingo website were charged under multiple violations of American state and federal laws. The online poker website named after the legendary Doyle Bronson also was seized.
The websites were allegedly controlled by a couple of independent individuals through less than ten inter-related companies. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is now the proud owner of multiple domains and and less than ten frozen bank accounts with an unknown sum on deposit.
In a peculiar turn of events, HSI either setup the Linwood processor from scratch or the Confidential Informant is the owner of the original Linwood processor who decided that life would be easier working with HSI than fending of prison gangs.
As was mentioned a few articles earlier on GamingZion.com, prior to the poker indictments of Black Friday, the key to filing charges is the payment processor who is frequently no more than a criminal out for a quick ‘score’ (or as in this case – law enforcement).
The key for foreign based poker, casinos, sportsbooks or online bingo games in United States is to remain off the government’s radar as possible and to completely avoid the US financial system.
Here is a look at the American gambling laws as well as civil and criminal statures the accused are charged with.
HSI needed a law which forbids gambling in Maryland and as almost every state of the union, one existed.
Maryland Criminal Code section 12-102 prohibits making or selling a book or a poll on the results of any race, contest or contingency. It’s also against the same law to help other people place bets on races, and contests (money processor.)
18 U.S.C section 1955 (Conducting Illegal Gambling Business) – is a Federal charge which requires the gambling business to first be in violation of a state gambling law. Without this provision, HSI could waltz into Las Vegas and arrest the entire town.
Title 31 U.S.C section 5363 (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) – the infamous 1996 act which prohibits money processors and all financial institutions from sending or receiving money to be used for gambling purposes.
U.S.C section 1084 (Transmission of Wagering Information) – Makes it illegal for a gambling business to knowingly use ‘wire communication’ to transmit info to help punters place bets or to accept money from people wishing to gamble. Originally passed in 1961 as a tool to combat mafia controlled sportsbooks.
Title 18 U.S.C. section 1956 (a) (2) (A) (Money Laundering) – transmitting money in, out or through the United States with the intent of promoting an illegal activity is the definition of money laundering and is considered a racketeering activity.