Changes in Technology & Politics and their effect on Business
NEW YORK — “Foreign firms that choose to operate in the United States are not free to flout the laws they don’t like simply because they can’t bear to be parted from their profits.”
Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, did not mince his words on April 15 as he indicted PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, three of the world’s biggest online gambling companies, on charges of operating illegal gambling businesses, concocting an “elaborate criminal fraud scheme,” involving tricking and bribing banks, and “massive money laundering.”
At the same time, America’s Department of Justice seized and shut down the firms’ main websites and filed a civil suit for penalties of $3 billion.
On the face of it, this is a devastating blow to those who hoped that online gambling would soon be made fully legal in America and to the estimated 10 million Americans who have been gambling online even as their government has insisted that it is illegal.