Feeds

UK touts itself as online gambling haven

But will extradite to US if asked

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
Inside the EYE of the TORnado: From Navy spooks to Silk Road
It's hard enough to peel the onion, are you hard enough to eat the core?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
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?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.