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Internet Gambling Targeted By Legislation

Over the course of the past several months, there has been a concerted effort put forth by the U.S. Congress and U.S. federal and state prosecutors to reign in foreign-based Internet gambling operations.  These sustained efforts often times have been accompanied by rhetoric regarding the dangers of gambling.

At the same time, U.S. casinos and other gambling operations (the main beneficiaries of these enforcement actions and efforts) continue to thrive and profit.  Many U.S. gamblers reportedly have moved their business to illegal (but difficult to restrain) offshore payment service providers in order to be able to continue accessing foreign online gambling sites.

In the aftermath of the efforts in the U.S., the same sort of thing appears to be happening in France as well. For example, France has detained two officials from  an Austrian online gambling site bwin.com.  This website venue has been competing with the French government's monopoly on sports betting in that country.  More recently, on March 5, 2007, the French Parliament adopted a detailed Law on the Prevention of Crime which includes what has been called a "battle against prohibited lotteries, games and wagers."

Internet gambling companies are increasingly finding themselves caught between the rock of national interests in regulating and protecting their domestic gambling industries, and the hard fact that their services involve a vice that is all too easy to target from a public policy perspective. Most analysts predict that the attempts to curtail Internet gambling will continue unabated and will extend well beyond the shores of the United States and of France. 

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