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The Courts Government The Almighty Buck News

BetOnSports Founder Pleads Guilty To Racketeering 223

Posted by Soulskill
from the ten-bucks-says-he-gets-the-maximum-sentence dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The founder of Internet- and telephone-based gambling operation BetOnSports has entered guilty pleas to three US charges, including a racketeering charge, and will forfeit $43.7 million to the US government as part of a plea agreement. Beginning in the mid- to late-1990s, Gary Kaplan set up businesses in Antigua and later Costa Rica to provide sports betting services to US residents through web sites and toll-free telephone numbers. Those numbers terminated in Houston or Miami, and were then forwarded to Costa Rica by satellite transmitter or fiber-optic cable. Some of Kaplan's web servers were located in Miami and were remotely controlled from Costa Rica. People became customers by depositing money in a BetOnSports account. By 2004, the BetOnSports organization's principal base of operations in Costa Rica employed about 1,700 people, had nearly one million registered customers and accepted more than 10 million sports bets. Now bankrupt, BetOnSports took in $1.25 billion in 2004, with 98 percent of that revenue coming from bets made through its web site by clients in the United States. 'Gary Kaplan made millions of dollars by making it too easy for people to gamble away their hard-earned money without having to leave their homes,' said FBI agent John Gillies. 'Today's guilty plea should have a lasting effect because Kaplan was not only the founder of BetOnSports, he was also one of the pioneers of illegal online gambling.'"
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BetOnSports Founder Pleads Guilty To Racketeering

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Sunday August 16, 2009 @09:53AM (#29083331)

    The only one hurt in this operation was the American government who didn't get their cut.

    The internet exposes many holes in the law, the most obvious one being locality in this case. What's the difference between driving to the nearby rez for some Pai Gow and going online to bet on the ponies?

    • by Jurily (900488) <jurily@@@gmail...com> on Sunday August 16, 2009 @10:07AM (#29083455)

      Another classic example why victimless crimes should be abolished. We're told that people over 18 are mature enough to make their own decisions in life.

      BTW, do the same agencies raid Las Vegas too, or is only internet gambling the work of the devil?

      • Victimless crimes? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Not really a victimless crime if someone has a gambling addiction. And online gambling doesn't help prevent that lifestyle. But, if it's legalized and regulated, maybe there is hope, but setting limits on how much someone can gamble within a time period. Because, when that person becomes dirt broke, isn't it going to be a burden on our welfare system?

        • by Irish_Samurai (224931) on Sunday August 16, 2009 @10:29AM (#29083633)

          Sorry, not buying it.

          Show me the PHYSICAL need to gamble. Show me the Gambling DTs. It's not a disease, its a lack of an ability to control yourself.

          I'm sick and tired of having options for my behavior limited because some fool can't control themselves. Why should I have a limit put on me on how much I choose to wager because someone else might "have a problem"?

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Show me the PHYSICAL need to gamble.

            The physical need are the endorphins and adrenalin that are produced by the body in reaction to the gambling activity. Whether the chemical reaction in your body that you feel you "need" is triggered by ingesting or inhaling substances or by mental stimulation is irrelevant to whether or not something qualifies as an addiction.

            • by Jurily (900488) <jurily@@@gmail...com> on Sunday August 16, 2009 @09:15PM (#29087863)

              The physical need are the endorphins and adrenalin that are produced by the body in reaction to the gambling activity. Whether the chemical reaction in your body that you feel you "need" is triggered by ingesting or inhaling substances or by mental stimulation is irrelevant to whether or not something qualifies as an addiction.

              Would you ban chocolate because some people are fat?

          • by Carrot007 (37198) <.Carrot007. .at. .thewibblereport.co.uk.> on Sunday August 16, 2009 @10:46AM (#29083773) Homepage

            Wheather a need is physical or psychological really does not matter and it is quite offensive that you would treat them differently.

            However as usual the solution is not to ban everybody from doing something because a few cannot control themselves. (which as far as I am concered applies to phsical addiction as much as psychological )

            The solution is to support these people and provide help.

            Your bias towards only caring about physical addiction and not about psychological shows the problems such people face and shows that until things change there is a need to ban everybody.

            Simply put you are your own worst enemy.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              Humans are volitional beings. Our very definition is "rational animal". We have free will and choose every one of our actions. We own our own bodies and our minds and thus we are "free" by nature.

              Therefore, if we develop an addiction to a substance or to a behaviour we have only ourselves to blame. The notion that fully grown adult human beings need a babysitter to make sure they don't hurt themselves is the most offensive concept ever known to man. And the most dangerous threat to freedom and liberty, whic

              • by Luthair (847766)
                By your logic people with OCD are simply 'making a choice'.
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  You're confusing desires with action.

                  Free will is almost synonymous with "resisting temptation". Which is why addiction advocates tend to argue so much in favour of the "disease" concept, and why their arguments tend to reduce to the notion that free will is an illusion.

                  I actually have a mild form of OCD. I'll check to make sure that I have my driver's license before getting in my car and then 10 seconds after leaving the driveway I feel the need to double-check and then triple-check etc. I even do the clic

          • by Jurily (900488)

            It's not a disease, its a lack of an ability to control yourself.

            In Hungary, gambling is considered a form of greed, just like how Attention Deficit Disorder is called "boring teacher", and the proposed solution is not to drug the kids.

          • by grolaw (670747)

            Agreed.

            But, who is to say that the games aren't rigged? There is room for regulation - of the provider, not the end user.

            • by CastrTroy (595695)
              Sorry, but gambling is always rigged so that the casino always wins. You may win once or twice, but the odds are rigged so that the casino always makes money. About the only casino type game that doesn't have the odds tipped in the casino's favour is poker, Oh, and you can win at blackjack too. But don't start winning too much, or they'll kick you out of the casino. I would have to say that sports betting is probably the least rigged kind of betting one could do. At least there could be many long shots
        • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross.yahoo@ca> on Sunday August 16, 2009 @10:53AM (#29083829)

          Please explain to me how this is applied to Las Vegas, Atlantic City and all of those other "legal" gambling institutions throughout America?

          Last I remember you show up with money in a gambling locale and they will let you loose it quite quickly...

          This is about the fact that the American government does not control the monies... Nothing more nothing less... I wish everybody could be honest about that!

        • by nedlohs (1335013) on Sunday August 16, 2009 @12:10PM (#29084467)

          We also only allow people to buy a six-pack of beer a week, right?

          And only jog 30 minutes a day?

          And only eat 1 chocolate bar every 2 days?

          And only watch TV for 2 hours a day?

        • by HiThere (15173)

          You can make that same kind of argument about ANY activity.

          I'm not saying there isn't some validity to the position WRT gambling, I'm saying that you need to justify it a LOT better. And I've never encountered such a justification that couldn't be applied to many other activities, from eating donuts to buying a fast car...or even to jogging.

      • Victimless? Hell, he cheated Uncle Sam, he did business without giving him his cut! In other organisations, you end up with concrete shoes in the river if you pull that stunt!

      • Another classic example why victimless crimes should be abolished.

        But, OTOH, if we abolish such laws, we should probably abolish any state financial safety nets for people who fall through the cracks. It's not fair that the voluntary and presumably informed choices of others to be charged directly to the taxpayers.

        • by Jurily (900488)

          But, OTOH, if we abolish such laws, we should probably abolish any state financial safety nets for people who fall through the cracks. It's not fair that the voluntary and presumably informed choices of others to be charged directly to the taxpayers.

          Was everything that happened in your life your decision?

          • by geoskd (321194)

            Was everything that happened in your life your decision?

            No, but my reaction to those events were all 100% within my control.

            A child has no self control, but learns that it cannot have whatever it wants, whenever it wants, and so develops self control. Even an adult can develop self control. There is no reason that each adult shouldn't be 100% responsible for their own actions. Any base emotion can be controlled by rational thought. Anything less is a cop-out by the individual involved. Anyone who wants to take the emotionally easy road and do whatever they wa

        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          I'd rather pay for the state to rehabilitate them, and make them productive members of society, then to pay for them to be on welfare for the rest of their life, or even worse, to have tons of homeless people all over the streets begging for money.
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        Sports betting is legal in Nevada. Which brings up an interesting point-- when the feds were coming up with that total, did they subtract the bets coming from Nevada?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Miros (734652) *
      Right, and it also takes money away from the Casinos, which the government protects through grants of monopoly franchises. Obv the government's recourse to tax revenue on the gambling winnings is via the casinos, and while it would be good for one state to setup internet gambling, the other states would object as they would not see any of the money made from the operation. (otherwise the major casino operators would have already implemented something like this)
      • You mean like when Kentucky was trying to seize internet "gambling" domains... while at the same time trying to allow online betting for THEIR horse tracks that also goes across federal telecommunications lines... breaking the same federal laws. "Internet Gambling" wasn't even illegal when these guys started out.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Miros (734652) *
          Well, in some sense internet gambling still is not really illegal, as in some respects the federal government would have some difficulty in passing a law like that without the cooperation of each individual state. Instead, the act, written by Kyl of Arizona, makes it illegal to transfer money to or receive money for the purposes of games of chance electronically over the internet, or some such mechanism like that. The actual function is to make the money transfers illegal, making it the banks problem rath
          • by Kartoffel (30238)

            What if, BetOnSports had refused all direct money transfers from or to US accounts? Make customers have to set up a proxy offshore account first, which would ostensibly be used for all sorts of things.

            When you bet, transfer money from the offshore account rather than from the US. If you win, likewise, money goes to offshore accounts only.

            Even if they had done this, I bet Uncle Sam would have gone after the internet traffic and phone calls-- anything that could be linked to activity within the US.

            • IIRC, there are plenty of online gambling (esp. poker) sites that do something like this. Often it is difficult to even take money from the US...paypal and the such wont allow gambling transactions.

              Why do you think you cant call up any of the swiss banks and open an account? I'm not talking about only the movie-magic anonymous numbered accounts...if you call up UBS and start talking in what sounds like american english, they are going to ask if you are from the USA and then inform you that they no long

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)

      The only one hurt in this operation was the American government who didn't get their cut.

      You know, in theory at least, money that the government collects is meant to be spent on public works and infrastructure that benefit all of the citizens. This has, in the past, included large grants for developing the network infrastructure needed for people to connect to this service. If you don't like the way your government is spending its money then maybe you should organise a new government.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fermion (181285)
      Funny how everyone picks on the IRS. I suppose you want soldiers to not have weopons, or to come home to nonexistent medical care. Or for children to vandalize houses rather than being safely locked up in school.

      In any case, the IRS is not the primary motivation for these suits. In most cases, it appears the existing gambling interests that are fighting to keep their monopolies alive and safe from free market competition. They want to control the online gambling as they do the offline [casinogamblingweb.com]. Competition tha

      • Funny how everyone picks on the IRS. I suppose you want soldiers to not have weopons, or to come home to nonexistent medical care. Or for children to vandalize houses rather than being safely locked up in school.

        Gee....I wonder how the US government got along before there was an IRS.

        • Gee....I wonder how the US government got along before there was an IRS.

          By having a group with a different name do the same thing? You think there was some legendary time when the government magically operated without collecting taxes?

    • by grolaw (670747)

      Oh come on, the Christian loonies who want less government are the same loonies behind this - they want to regulate women's bodies and dope and gambling - but don't tax them or question their rights to call the president a Nazi.

    • by houghi (78078) on Sunday August 16, 2009 @01:39PM (#29085189)

      Yeah, stupid people gamble. Smart people invest.

  • Oh noes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DurendalMac (736637) on Sunday August 16, 2009 @09:56AM (#29083361)
    "Gary Kaplan made millions of dollars by making it too easy for people to gamble away their hard-earned money without having to leave their homes"

    I can't be trusted! Protect me, nanny state!
    • On average, you're fine.

      It's the people who want to be able to gamble from home (or anywhere, for that matter) who are, on average, less trustworthy.

  • The real reason (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Sunday August 16, 2009 @09:57AM (#29083365)

    'Gary Kaplan made millions of dollars by making it too easy for people to gamble away their hard-earned money without having to leave their homes,' said FBI agent John Gillies.

    The IRS was pissed it wasn't getting a cut of the action.

  • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Sunday August 16, 2009 @09:59AM (#29083381)
    Surely this decision to plead guilty has opened the floodgates. If taking money off the gullible and statistically challenged is racketeering, now is the time to invest in companies that build prisons in the US.

    After all, Madoff was operating a Ponzi scheme. This guy told the gamblers the truth about what he was doing, and they gave him money voluntarily.

    • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@NOSpAM.barbara-hudson.com> on Sunday August 16, 2009 @10:40AM (#29083713) Journal
      The stock market *is* gambling. All the "technical analysis", etc., is just bullshit. It's a con game, as in "confidence game" - and when gamblers^Winvestors lose confidence, the system collapses, as we've seen. Ban shorts and derivatives, require that all investments be held for a minimum period of 3 months, and I'll start to believe that *maybe* there's some real investing going on.
      • You are right the stock market is a speculation... BUT there is a big difference... You can beat the house. In a gambling institution you can't beat the house!

        • by Kartoffel (30238)

          You absolutely can beat the house in both cases, and in both cases if you beat the house too sorely they'll get upset and try to throw you out.

          Naked shorting in the stock market.... teams counting blackjack in a casino. Both can be done with tremendous profits, given the right discipline and organization. It's all about subverting the system.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by shentino (1139071)

        The stock market is not gambling.

        Most of the folks who make the big bucks either ride it out for the long haul or are insiders.

  • by harmonise (1484057) on Sunday August 16, 2009 @10:02AM (#29083397)

    'Gary Kaplan made millions of dollars by making it too easy for people to gamble away their hard-earned money without having to leave their homes,'

    I'm still not sure what this guy did wrong other than offer a convenient service to gamblers.

    • His mistake (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ArchieBunker (132337) on Sunday August 16, 2009 @10:04AM (#29083421) Homepage

      His mistake was not leaving the US when he had enough money to live independently. That or he was too cheap and didn't "donate" to the right legislators.

      • Re:His mistake (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mabhatter654 (561290) on Sunday August 16, 2009 @11:14AM (#29084025)

        He did leave the US shortly after the law was passed changing the legal status of his business. He's one of the guys where his flight between non-US destinations had an "emergency" and the DOJ "arrested" him at an "international" location outside the gates of US Customs.

        I always find it funny that it's OK for US corporations to leave when they don't like Taxes, Environmental laws, Labor laws, Executive responsibility laws, to places like Bermuda, China, Taiwan, Honduras, running their US business into the ground and wrecking jobs for tens of thousands, but his little "gambling" site involved the need to conduct international sting operations and illegally divert aircraft.

        • Re:His mistake (Score:4, Informative)

          by otter42 (190544) on Sunday August 16, 2009 @05:42PM (#29086765) Homepage Journal

          I'm calling B.S. According to The Register article [theregister.co.uk] from the time, he was arrested at a hotel in Santo Domingo.

          You're getting this somewhat mixed up with David Carruthers, who *was* arrested at Dallas Airport, but while changing planes. Moreover, wikipedia reports that it happened while he was flying from the UK to Costa Rica. If this had been a CIA/FBI plot, like you insinuate, they would have picked a better spot than Houston, and there wouldn't have been a lay-over.

          I'll agree that the US is overstretching it's bounds here, but injecting misinformation and hyperbole into the conversation doesn't help anyone.

  • Betting on sports is a stupid move. Any form of gambling, be it lottery tickets, horse racing, cock fighting and the Stock Market--they are all equally foolish. Each of these forms of gambling exist to funnel money to the house. Anyone who is foolish enough to buy stocks, bet on football games, buy lottery tickets or step foot in a casino is a stupid fool who deserves to walk away penniless. What kind of foolish idiot walks into a casino in Las Vegas expecting to make money? I guess it's the same sort of du

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday August 16, 2009 @10:31AM (#29083647)

      I am a statistician (says my degree at least). Yet, on occation, I buy a lottery ticket and visit a casino. Fully aware that my chance to win is minimal compared to the chance that I lose. It's a game. It's fun. It's a cheap little thrill. It's nothing I'd put my last 5 bucks on.

      The problem isn't so much that people engage in gambling. It's not really a problem unless you plan to make money that way. As long as you see it as a pastime and realize that it's basically a pastime like so many others where you pay to do it, from playing paintball to collecting stamps, there's no problem.

      It becomes a problem when people live in the delusion of having a "system" to beat the house and make money that way. It does not work. It simply cannot. If there was such a thing as a "system", casinos and lottery company would have folded a long time ago.

      • by tomhudson (43916)

        It becomes a problem when people live in the delusion of having a "system" to beat the house and make money that way. It does not work. It simply cannot. If there was such a thing as a "system", casinos and lottery company would have folded a long time ago.

        You know that card counters have an advantage over the house in blackjack? That's why the casinos will kick you out if they think you're counting cards - they just want people who can't count to "play."

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Opportunist (166417)

          If you can count 6+ decks, you can make more money with "honest" work...

          • by torkus (1133985)

            Do tell. There are several counting systems that, while not simple, are not exceptionally difficult. If you were allowed unrestricted use of one (even if you have to count entirely in your head) there's the obvious potential for exponential profit.

            I would love to know how I could make 7 figures in a job I could do any time i wanted, an hours i wanted and, given internet gambling, from anywhere i wanted.

        • Most people only think they can count cards. The casinos love those people, and sell them books on card counting in the book store.

          If you "make too much" they might notice you, I suppose, but they will probably refuse service to anyone who's not losing money over a long enough time period, regardless of method, just-in-case. They're private businesses. They can refuse service to whomever they wish. Although I suspect they let a few "career card counters" go on for a while. Those guys are the kernel of

          • by nedlohs (1335013) on Sunday August 16, 2009 @12:19PM (#29084537)

            The real scam is the poker tables. The casino risks none of its own money on the poker tables, yet feels entitled to a percentage of every pot? WTF?

            The provide a nice playing table and chairs. They provide nice cards and chips. They provide a dealer who vaguely knows the rules. They provide a public location with security to find people to play with without having to sit in a private location with strangers and large sums of money. They provide an unbiased party for dispute resolution.

            And they don't always feel entitled to a percentage of every pot, pay by the hour isn't that uncommon.

            • Depending on the people you play with, having someone who has no interest in the outcome of the game who provides cards and location is already something that might allow you to end up in a fair game...

              • by nedlohs (1335013)

                But there was more than just "fair". There was also your game not being robbed by guys with guns who heard about it somehow. Which could also happen at a casino, but the security is better and there's juicier targets than the poker table.

          • by HiThere (15173)

            They supply the table, the cards, the room, the dealer... Why do you think they shouldn't be entitled to a profit? One might argue about the SIZE of the profit, but please be reasonable.

      • by Tacvek (948259)

        Yes. With a few minor exceptions. Poker can be won, since you are not playing against the house.

        Blackjack can be won in theory due to counting, although that will be spotted quickly, and one will be asked to leave.

        Lastly, under lab conditions a few people have been shown to be able to assert a level of precision in throwing craps die to be able to gain a slight advantage. The problem with this one is that in real world conditions additional variables hamper this, and in any case the advantage is so small th

      • by Kartoffel (30238)

        Oh, there most certainly are "systems". If you (ab)use one to profit at the house's expense they'll break your kneecaps (or charge you with racketeering).

      • by Inda (580031)
        I lost a fiver on the English football today. Out of the 10 bets I made over the weekend, I won 3 of them but, most importantly, I lost the last one of the day. I'll probably lose another fiver next week and the week after that. These one pound bets hopefully wont bankrupt me.

        I wont play the lottery though because the odds are rubbish. The odds at a bookmakers is the game. If the bookmaker has it wrong then this where my money goes. And believe me, they do get it wrong often. If only I could gamble with hin
    • What kind of foolish idiot walks into a casino in Las Vegas expecting to make money?

      The owners, the loan sharks, the payday lenders, the cops, the employees, the hookers, the blackmailers ...

      As for the stock market, it's legalized gambling only if you're too small to control the market. That's why the small fish get eaten alive every pull-back.

    • by forkazoo (138186)

      Betting on sports is a stupid move. Any form of gambling, be it lottery tickets, horse racing, cock fighting and the Stock Market--they are all equally foolish. Each of these forms of gambling exist to funnel money to the house. Anyone who is foolish enough to buy stocks, bet on football games, buy lottery tickets or step foot in a casino is a stupid fool who deserves to walk away penniless. What kind of foolish idiot walks into a casino in Las Vegas expecting to make money? I guess it's the same sort of du

    • Sorry while the stock market as the appearance of gambling its not quite the same.

      Here are differences:

      1)

      If I put down a dollar in a casino I either win or loose, its a binary.
      If I put down a dollar in the stock market I have the choice of getting my money back at a later point in time at a loss or gain. It is not binary.

      2)

      If I bet on red I have odds that red might win.
      If I buy a stock based on analysis X I have a probability that I can go home with a gain at my discretion.

      3)

      Casinos work on randomness
      Stock

      • More importantly, stocks are a claim to partial ownership of a company. Thus buying stocks is an investment in a business venture. There is always risk in business, but successful entrepreneurs minimize their risk by researching their markets and filling an unfilled need, or filling a need better than anyone else.

        While a stock-owner does not make all of the same decisions that an entrepreneur does, they do play a vital role in the economy by funding ventures that are producing goods and services that are in

      • by torkus (1133985)

        ...or to put it more simply: The stock market is FAR more complex than most of the people comparing it to gambling even suspect. Investing in the 'market *IS* still a risk but it's one so complex it's impossible to put actual odds on.

    • by maxume (22995) on Sunday August 16, 2009 @11:30AM (#29084153)

      Plenty of people enjoy the gambling to the extent that it is worth the losses to them (Personally, my actual gambling is limited to the occasional Mega Millions ticket, but only when the expected value of the ticket goes above the cost, it is fun to fantasize about absurd wealth once in a while).

      As far as the stock market, you can actually bet with the house (buy an index fund). The last 10 or 15 years certainly have been miserable, but good investment advice pretty much starts with "don't invest money that you might need short term access to in stocks"; that advice gets roundly ignored (people in their 50's and 60's frequently have huge exposure to equities, when they shouldn't), but that doesn't change the value of the advice for people that follow it, so 10 years of poor market performance is easy to view as an opportunity to buy...

      Even Jim Cramer, a guy a lot of people view as a loudmouth tool of the bad guys, starts with advising people to take out insurance against catastrophes (good medical insurance and disability insurance, to protect against illness and loss of income, which are much bigger considerations for retirement than good investment performance) and to conservatively invest their retirement assets (the title of his show "Mad Money" is a reference to money that the particular investor can afford to lose, and thus can take larger risks with).


  • Today's guilty plea should have a lasting effect because Kaplan was not only the founder of BetOnSports, he was also one of the pioneers of illegal online gambling.'"

    Yup.. the lasting effect will be operations that are entirely offshore and run by people not U.S. citizens will take over the online gambling industry.

    The only effect here is to kill off the U.S. businesses that do this. Does the Federal Government really think it's going to stop every country with an internet connection from hosting a freaki

    • by haruchai (17472)

      A lot of folks have been pissed off by Bill Maher calling America a stupid country - and a lot of the same folks have spent the last few
      weeks proving him right. Sadly, too many of them are in the government.

      • I think the issue there is that, if we did what Bill Maher thinks a smart country would do, we'd be an even stupider country. So, it's kind of a dick thing for him to say.

        It's like the early days of global warming "studies." Where one after another was provably shoddy science, but they kept beating the drum: our methods may be wrong, but our conclusions are correct. It doesn't matter if a statement you make is correct if you arrive at it by pure chance.

        • by HiThere (15173)

          Well, I don't know anything about Bill Maher ... I've never noticed the name before. But you've convinced me that his arguments might be worth looking at.

          O, and you've also convinced me that you know absolutely nothing a climate science and very little about statistics.

    • Re:Lasting effect. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday August 16, 2009 @10:37AM (#29083683)

      Yes, they do. As idiotic as it may seem to someone who knows the internet and how it works, they are actually in the delusion that they can stop this. Their idea is that if it's illegal it is not done.

      What will happen? Of course, non-US residents will create offshore casinos. People will gamble there. So we'll get laws that make it illegal to gamble in other countries online (IIRC something like that already exists). People will ignore that law, knowing that the chance to be caught is minimal. Government will realize that people gamble abroad and will try to gain access to accounts to see if they get (or send) large amounts of money offshore. To do this, we'll need some sort of excuse. Something will be worked out that makes it necessary to gain access to the accounts of US people. In turn, those offshore companies will offer bank accounts offshore as well and people will put their money there. It's tricky to make it illegal to put money into foreign accounts, but I'm sure we'll see some legislation that makes it illegal to put money into certain countries. Companies will move their banking to other countries.

      So what we'll see is the race between companies offering a service and government trying to come up with creative laws that make it illegal to use those services without actually slaughtering the sacred cow of international trade and free commerce. Personally, I'd recommend getting some popcorn and enjoying the show.

      • That's why the CIA/DOJ has been going after the Swiss bankers lately. It look like this "terrorist" was on the list of people's accounts recently demanded by the US Government in violation of Swiss banking laws or they wouldn't have settled.

        On one hand I think it's a sovereign state, and the US has no business there. On the other, the banking lobby is so powerful they REFUSE to be bound by the law not to transfer to banks that the Feds can't monitor and refuse to play along to help catch terrorists. It's n

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Opportunist (166417)

          Lemme put it that way, there's a reason why Switzerland and Liechtenstein managed to stay out of WW2, and it was not that they're so terribly full of hard to conquer mountains...

          Hey, you gotta leave a place alone to pump your money to, you never know whether you win or lose.

      • by HiThere (15173)

        Actually, there are ways to make internet gambling stop. The easiest is to allow credit card companies to keep any money bet using the card on a gambling site.

        Think about it.

  • Cheating people who can't rub two brain cells together and engage in betting schemes where anyone with a hint of knowledge of the system has to know it can't be a zero sum game over time, that's illegal?

    Round up investment bankers and stock brokers!

  • Gary Kaplan made millions of dollars by making it too easy for people to gamble away their hard-earned money without having to leave their homes

    Thank goodness for the extra effort required to walk into a gas station to buy a state-run-lottery ticket.

    I'm glad the FBI is thinking of the children.

  • by Dunbal (464142) on Sunday August 16, 2009 @11:11AM (#29083985)

    The World Trade Organization has found in favor of Antigua, and states that the US is in violation of the law by making online gambling illegal just because it wants to protect its brick and mortar casinos...

    However the US threatens others with the UN, WTO, sanctions, military force when it wants to, and ignores those organizations when they become "inconvenient". And then Americans wonder why they are hated everywhere. That's ok, keep printing those dollars (the Federal Reserve is now the biggest purchaser of US treasuries - imagine that), propping up that bubble and lying to the public with imaginary "inflation" and "employment" figures, America. The whole house of cards will come down soon enough.

  • Pioneers? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by YourExperiment (1081089) on Sunday August 16, 2009 @11:56AM (#29084365)

    Kaplan was not only the founder of BetOnSports, he was also one of the pioneers of illegal online gambling.

    Gary Kaplan may have been a pioneer of online gambling, but it took the U.S. government to pioneer the wonderful concept of illegal online gambling.

  • Why can't we let US based casinos have on line betting? they want to have it and you can't fix sports like you can with on line porker, slots, and black jack.

    • by HiThere (15173)

      Actually, sports contests can and have been fixed. The prevalence of that was one of the reasons betting on sports was originally made illegal.

      Mr. Kaplan probably couldn't have fixed sports. He was too small time an operation. But the Nevada casinos... well, it may be just as well that they AREN'T allowed to have on-line betting on sports.

  • Dumb people (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee (775178)

    Gary Kaplan made millions of dollars by making it too easy for people to gamble away their hard-earned money without having to leave their homes

    Betting, which allows dumb people to broke themselves, is illegal.
    Guns, which allow dumb people to kill others, are still legal.

The major difference between bonds and bond traders is that the bonds will eventually mature.

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