Will More Online Gaming Arrests be made in the Run-up to Superbowl?

by Lou on January 31, 2007

In the week leading up to the Superbowl, rumors are rampant about additional arrests to be made in the online gaming community by the US Department of Justice.

According to Sarah Treanor, reporting in eGaming Review, “US authorities are on the verge of unsealing another set of indictments against a high-profile US-facing betting and gaming operator.”

Department of Justice officials have dodged but not denied these rumors by saying that nothing would be made public until an individual or firm was charged.

Non-denial denials usually point to an event happening, and in this case it figures to occur sooner rather than later. With Superbowl being the biggest single wagering event of the year, arrests made during the run-up to the game would surely garner the kind of publicity and provide the sort of chilling effect DoJ is looking for as they follows on the arrests of Neteller founders and former directors Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre.

Given recent events, the writing on the wall is crystal clear. If you’re associated with an online gaming firm and you’re in the United States now, get out – and don’t waste a moment doing so. Although Lawrence and Lefebvre were foolish to put themselves in harm’s way by visiting the United States after the spate of arrests earlier in 2006, they probably did believe they were off the hook because they were former directors who were not currently active in Neteller.

Anyone arrested in the next DoJ sweep should harbor no such illusions, and anyone who is vulnerable to arrest would be extremely foolish to stick around and wait for it to happen.

If these arrests are to be made offshore, under some sort of extradition arrangement, the world is rapidly shrinking for anyone who might be charged, though I don’t know that this sort of thing will happen.

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