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October 22, 2006

Caribbean Internet Gaming thumbing their nose at US Law

Posted in: Economy,Politics,Sports,World

So much for the Caribbean countries respecting the new internet gaming law passed in the US. I guess they feel it does not pertain to them, Briton in Curacao continues firmly with internet gaming.

CURACAO/LONDON — Despite the American’s ban on internet gaming, the Briton Alistair Assheton continues firmly with offering online gaming and casinos.  

As the Amigoe reported last Friday, the American president George Bush signed the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGE Act) that prohibits banks and credit card companies to transfer money to internet companies that are involved with gambling.

Assheton said in the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph:   “This is certainly a big disappointment for the sector.   But internet is still going strong and so is gambling; people still want to do both.   The question is more how than if.”

When he was asked on how he thinks to collect the payments of American residents, which is in breach with the American law, he said:Â   “There are ways”, and with that he refers to the fact that many gamblers have a foreign account.

The Daily Telegraph reports that in Curacao, Assheton belongs to a growing group of entrepreneurs in the Caribbean that are determined to continue firmly with accepting bets from the US.   As director in a management team buy-out of his former mother company Leisure & Gaming, he bought all US-activities for the symbolic amount of one dollar.   The company says that with this transaction, it had saved 6 million dollars (costs in connection with the closing of the company), and also 300 jobs in Curacao, Antigua, and Costa Rica.   These three countries are the most popular ones in the online gaming industry.   “He says that he is not afraid of being arrested and that he hopes that he can continue accepting US bets, because he thinks that he is outside the jurisdiction of the United States”, reports The Daily Telegraph.  

At least two internet gaming companies sold their American activities for the symbolic amount of one dollar last week.   One of them was sold to Alistair Assheton, who is operating from Curacao for some years already.   The Daily Telegraph reported this in England.  Ã‚   Several big concerns withdrew from the American market, like PartyGaming, Empire Online, and 888.   Sportingbet sold her activities for one dollar to Jazette Enterprises, a vehicle for a management buy-out with establishments in Costa Rica.

According to the British press agency Reuters that is closely following the developments around the anti-internet gaming act, there are approximately 2700 gaming websites worldwide.   About 170 of these have indicated that they are planning to keep out American bets.   The worldwide turnover of internet gaming is 12 milliard dollars by now, of which one-third to 50 percent come from the United States.   How much comes from Curacao is not known.   The new act makes the transfer of money from American banks and credit card companies to internet gaming companies, illegal, even though they are established in foreign countries and have a permit to do this in those countries. (Amigoe)

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