Feeds

UK touts itself as online gambling haven

But will extradite to US if asked

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The UK will set itself up as an online gambling haven but will extradite executives to the US if asked, according to Sports Minister Richard Caborn.

The US effectively banned online gambling with a new law earlier this year, and Caborn and Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell outlined plans to welcome internet gambling companies to the UK and regulate them.

Jowell criticised the US's stance, saying the UK will not follow suit. "We do not support the approach the United States has taken," she said. "The enormous risk of prohibition is that it forces the industry underground."

Making unfavourable comparisons to the US's experience with alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, Jowell said the UK would instead regulate the industry. She said outlawing it risked driving online betting consumers into criminal hands.

The politicians were speaking at a summit of international delegates who agreed a framework to regulate the industry, agreeing protection for gambling addicts and plans to stop underage gambling.

The Department of Justice in the US had long considered the 1961 Wire Act to outlaw all internet gambling, but a new law, which was rushed through under cover of a port security act, made it illegal for financial institutions to process payments to gambling sites.

The impact on UK-listed gaming companies was severe. Share prices nosedived and Sportingbet sold its US business for $1, claiming that it released the company from $27m of liabilities.

Speculation has mounted in recent days that 888 and PartyGaming would merge, and Ladbrokes has also been linked to a bid for 888.

Two British senior executives of online gaming companies had been arrested in the US prior to the passing of the new law. Though Peter Dicks of Sportingbet was released, David Carruthers from BetonSports still awaits trial.

Caborn said despite attempts to attract further business to the US, the UK would still respect extradition requests from the US in relation to online gambling. "People have to abide by the laws of particular countries," he said. "We will not acknowledge people who operate illegally."

The US was said by industry sources to account for at least half of the revenues earned by online gambling worldwide. $6.7bn of the $30bn spent every year is spent in Europe, according to UK government figures.

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.