Internet Gambling Goes to Court for Situs Slot Deposit Pulsa Tanpa Potongan
Although the 40-year-old Wire Act prohibits the transfer via phone lines of
betting information, application of the law to the Internet has been
questioned by many.
There’s a case brewing in Louisiana that may blow the lid off virtual
The U.S. Department of Justice maintains that online gambling of all types
is illegal in the United States under the 1961 Wire Act — and has been
successful in prosecuting Internet gamblers and bookies under that law.
However, a U.S. appeals court faces the question of whether a trial court in
Louisiana was correct when it ruled in February that the Wire Act does not
apply to all forms of Internet gambling, but only sports wagering.
In the consolidated cases, several gamblers sued Visa and MasterCard,
seeking to avoid paying their gambling debts. Judge Stanwood Duval of the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana dismissed the
case, which means that the gamblers will have to pay up.
However, in doing so, Duval made his broad statement about the application
of the Wire Act. With the case now under appeal, many advocates of online
gambling are no doubt betting on the federal appellate court to give them
the hook they need to open the floodgates for Internet casinos.
The Bookie Loses
Despite what Duval wrote in his opinion, courts in other jurisdictions have
sided with the Justice Department and ruled that all forms of Internet
gambling are unlawful under the Wire Act.
For example, the Wire Act was used to convict a telephone and Internet
bookmaker last year. In that case, U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa,
sitting in New York, sentenced Jay Cohen, co-owner of Antigua-based World
Sports Exchange, to 21 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised
release, in addition to nearly US$6,000 in fines and assessments.
“People who operate Situs Slot Deposit Pulsa Tanpa Potongan businesses from foreign shores that take sports bets from Americans should understand that they cannot escape the consequences of their actions by locating their sportsbooks outside the United States,” said
U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White at the time.
According to White, “an Internet communication is no different [from] a
telephone call for purposes of liability under the Wire Wager Act.” Indeed,
legal experts note that the Wire Act was drafted specifically to combat the
growing use of a service in the 1950s known as “The Line,” which gave
up-to-date gambling information to bookies so they could take and place bets
Play, Don’t Pay
Which bring us back to the MasterCard/Visa case. The plaintiffs in that case
argued that by sending out monthly statements to customers who had used the
cards to gamble online, MasterCard and Visa committed fraud in trying to
collect “illegal” debts.
Judge Duval, however, threw the MasterCard/Visa suits out before they ever
made it to trial.
“Plaintiffs in these cases are not victims, they are independent actors who
made a knowing and voluntary choice to engage in a course of conduct,” Duval
said in the ruling. “At this point in time, Internet casino gambling is not
a violation of federal law.”
Duval also drew the legal conclusion that the 1960 Wire Act only prohibits
sports betting online.
Under the legal doctrine of “obiter dicta,” or “worldly discussion,” it
could be argued that the judge went too far and made some sweeping
statements about the Wire Act that were not necessary to his opinion, and so
not binding on other courts.
However, if the appellate court decides to review and approve of the judge’s
broad conclusions about the Wire Act, it is possible that an appellate
opinion will be floating around that would prohibit new prosecutions of
online gambling operations under the Wire Act.
Only In Vegas
Since Duval’s ruling in February, there have been several other major
developments that will help decide the fate of online gambling.
Notably, in mid-June, Nevada passed a bill allowing large casinos to set up
in cyberspace, becoming the first state to allow Internet gambling. Although
the law does not legalize online gambling in Nevada, it does permit state
regulators to prepare rules to govern Internet-based betting.
Nevada also plans to build a coalition of states to challenge the Wire Act.
However, Whittier Law School professor Nelson Rose downplayed the likelihood
of its success.
“Although a lot of states have lotteries and casino gambling, none outside
of Nevada appear anxious to take bets from other states and nations,” Rose
Rose said that the big question is whether the proposed Internet Gambling
Prohibition Act will be reintroduced into Congress and whether federal
lawmakers will pass a ban on Internet gambling e-cash.
Reportedly, the Act, which failed to pass last year, is being reworked by
its original author, U.S. Representative Robert Goodlatte (R-Virginia).
The revamped bill, instead of focusing on the Wire Act, will attempt to
declare credit card debts incurred from Internet gambling uncollectable. It
will also reportedly let state lotteries sell tickets online, a major item
not included in the first bill.
Cards on the Table
The U.S. appeals court might avoid a review of Judge Duval’s conclusion that
the Wire Act does not apply to Internet casino gambling and determine the
outcome of the MasterCard/Visa cases on other grounds.
However, even if the appellate court avoids the ultimate issue now, another
federal appellate court or two could take up the question of whether the
Wire Act applies to Internet casino gambling. Eventually, the myriad
factions in the Web gambling sector could bring the issue to the U.S.
Rose sees a mixed outlook for online gambling.
“In the near future, we will see more states outlawing Internet gambling,
although they will exempt their own legal forms of gambling,” Rose
predicted. “Congress [will be] unable to reach a consensus, and legal online
betting expand throughout the rest of world.”