UPDATE: Redcoats Tell DOJ (essentially) to piss off

by , Jan 22, 2007 | 8:31 am

It didn’t take long for the latest U.S. Department of Justice anti-online-gambling action — subpoenaing at least 16 European banks that did business with PartyGaming, 888, and others — to rub some powerful Brits the wrong way. Though the UK banking industry and their political cohorts could presumably care less about poker, they are publicly balking at the insinuation that the US has any semblance of jurisdiction:

Alan Duncan, Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary, said: “There is growing suspicion that the US Department of Justice is using its muscle in a highly unpleasant manner, and is targeting financial institutions beyond their own shores in a way that cannot be justified. I hope the Department will stop and review its approach so that its behaviour doesn’t sour relations between us.”

via Bill Rini

Of course if online gambling sites don’t feel safe in London, they can always set up shop on Sealand. Thanks, Shuttergypsy, for the link!

NOTE: The DOJ’s legal requests hardly constitute economic warfare … but they are hurting (at least temporarily) the legitimate British businesses that prosecutors want to make the bad guys.

2 Comments to “UPDATE: Redcoats Tell DOJ (essentially) to piss off”

  1. jeh

    Apparently they’ve also issued subpoenas for four big-time investment banks (HSBC, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Dresdner Kleinwort) that have significant U.S. operations. All four were involved in IPO’s of some of the larger online gaming concerns (Party, 888, etc.), although primarily so through their London-based operations, particularly since the IPO’s were all on the London Stock Exchange.

    I think this bodes well for the downfall of the UIGEA and the online poker biz. For whatever boneheaded reason, the online operators wouldn’t put up enough funds to make sure that the UIGEA wouldn’t pass, and since then, haven’t put up any legal fight, despite the fact that the UIGEA is so vague that it’s almost certainly legally unenforceable. The big investment banks are no strangers to litigation and to paying top dollar to beat the government into submission when necessary. Those guys know how to take the gloves off when it really counts. And I suspect they will be able to force the DOJ to back down. Or the British will do so via the WTO, if necessary.

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