Feeds

Israel bonds with US over online betting ban

Sinful allies

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Israel has officially joined the online betting prohibitionist club, led by staunch ally the United States and the collaborationist French.

According to the online edition of the Globe, Judge Abraham Heiman ruled last week that a foreign company may not take online bets from Israeli citizens, regardless of where it is headquartered or its servers are located. Israeli authorities had previously focused on stamping out that notorious threat to public morals, playing online backgammon for money. The real threat is to the Israeli government’s gaming monopoly, which provides drastically lower returns to players.

Although Eran Shendar, Israel’s top prosecutor, had already made it clear in December that online gambling was considered illegal, the detention of Victor Chandler CEO Michael Carlton last week opened a new front in the government’s war on online gambling. Following America’s lead, Israel has now thrown down the gauntlet to those offering services from abroad. Judge Heiman even cited two New York state court rulings as precedent for establishing jurisdiction over Victor Chandler, a British company.

Jurisdiction over the internet has proven to be one of the thorniest issues for the online gambling world, a point noted with some frustration by Judge Heiman. Although your reporter is an American attorney, not an Israeli one, the troublesome issue cited by the judge appears to be common to both American and Israeli law- namely, that transactions over the internet (or the telephone, or through the mail) are considered to have taken place wherever received. This is due to a well established principle of sales law, and it was what tripped up Jay Cohen, founder of the World Sports Exchange, whose case has been covered here previously.

Cohen returned to the US to fight the DOJ under the belief that since his business and all of its servers resided in Antigua, where the transactions were processed, he should not be subject to American jurisdiction. The DOJ sidestepped that problem altogether by going to great lengths to establish that the WSE had marketed itself extensively to the American public, thereby availing itself of the American market and American law, and Jay Cohen ended up in prison.

This concept originally was developed to protect the little guy or gal - a little old lady in California, for example, defrauded by mailings from a New York insurance company that cashed her check in New York, could be protected by California law due to the fact that the company had “purposely availed” itself of California jurisdiction. This principle gets considerably spookier, however, when the federal government is the one invoking it.

According to company filings, Israel was Victor Chandler’s 2nd biggest market in 2006. Apparently the massive marketing campaign by Victor Chandler in Israel last year, including ads run on public buses, paid some dividends, and proved a bit much for Judge Heiman to overlook. ®

Burke Hansen, attorney at large, heads a San Francisco law office.

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.