Online casinos eye settlement with United States

The ongoing persecution of Internet gambling sites by the United States Department of Justice may be nearing an end after several years of acrimony. Word spreading throughout the online casino industry is that a large fine that will still not bankrupt the companies involved may be the settlement.

Online casinos such as SportingBet and PartyGaming and their executives have been pursued by US law enforcement since the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006. Despite online gambling constituting a legal gray area, undefined in terms and policy, before and after UIGEA as well, US officials have tried to bring every pressure to bear on the industry.

The original proposal from the Department of Justice to the Internet casinos was that they repay all monies earned in the US before their withdrawal from the market, and surrender executives, owners, and founders for short prison stints. While that was clearly unacceptable, the ominous and tenacious presence of the Department of Justice has worn down industry resistance to the point at which many, if not all, online casinos would gladly pay a large lump sum to be rid of the case.

While the legality of the US case is dubious at best, the Internet gambling sites would like to not worry when employees travel through or to the United States, and they would also wish to clear the legal blotter before a potential reopening and regulation of the US industry. This would give the sites a chance to return to the lucrative American market.