Feeds

UK touts itself as online gambling haven

But will extradite to US if asked

The Power of One Infographic

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.

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.