Archive for Sunday, August 6, 2006

Online poker players face legal questions

August 6, 2006


— Is online poker legal?

Calvin Ayre, the billionaire who graced Forbes magazine's March cover, decided to make himself scarce at his own soiree after federal authorities arrested David Carruthers, the head of rival Web gambling operator BetOnSports PLC, as Carruthers changed planes at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on July 16.

A federal judge ordered BetOnSports to stop accepting bets placed from the United States, and prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of $4.5 billion, plus several cars, recreational vehicles and computers from Carruthers and 10 other people associated with the Costa Rica-based gambling operation.

Around the same time, the U.S. House passed a bill that would ban most Internet gambling. Though the bill's future in the Senate is uncertain, the issue is looming over the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

"I've got no certainty whatsoever," said Ayre, speaking by phone from Canada, days after Carruthers' arrest.

"I don't believe any senior executive of any online gaming company is going to be going into the United States for the foreseeable future," Ayre said.


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