Gaming Affiliate Risk Update

by , Aug 6, 2012 | 10:29 am

This is further to last week’s post about affiliates @Pokerati. It’s a good news–bad news update.

The good news—at least, from an affiliate perspective—is that there appears to be no federal criminal indictment or civil complaint currently outstanding against the previously-referenced affiliate. The actions taken thus far seem to be part of an ongoing nvestigation by federal authorities.

The bad news is that federal investigators clearly believe that certain affiliate marketing constitutes criminal activity. This won’t surprise many readers. Without commenting on the actions or circumstances of this affiliate, such a posture may not be unreasonable, depending on the nature of the marketing activities undertaken, the basis of compensation for affiliate activities, and the alleged underlying state law violation(s). (Remember that the Travel Act and the Illegal Gambling Business Act require a predicate state crime to be engaged.) As to this particular affiliate investigation, I do not yet know the purported state law violation.

US-facing affiliate businesses, in particular, will want to take note of and continue to follow what is happening in Ohio to see what implications the investigation may have for their businesses. This is the first time I’m aware of a specific affiliate being targeted in this kind of investigation relying on these provisions of Title 18. Whether this investigation ripens into something larger or does not, certain gaming affiliates should be aware of potentially heightened federal scrutiny and risk in the sector.

3 Comments to “Gaming Affiliate Risk Update”

  1. Dan Michalski

    Stu, any more info you can provide for those of us who might want to dig into the public docs on the aforementioned case? I mean there is the chance that someone could read it and come up with a completely different legal interpretation. Hypothetically, of course.

  2. Stu Hoegner

    Completely fair quesiton, Dan, and certainly many facts are open to multiple legal interpretations. I’m happy to engage with contrary or different views. But there simply is no docket of public documents in PACER for me to share at this stage. I maintain that’s a good thing for the affiliate, even if it constrains what the larger community can learn from the file.
    Kevin Mathers was asking for public documents on this on Twitter, as well, and again, it’s a perfectly legitimate request. I am happy to commit to downloading any public documents on this matter at Pokerati as and when I come across them.

  3. Haley

    Bad scare story from Stuey. The guy apparently split up with his wife, and she wanted some justice, and called authorities about his affiliate business. Those same authorities heard the name “Bodog” and went bonkers. I’ve learned his ID and checked him out and I find him to be wholly unexceptional, and I believe this is going to turn into a nonstory.