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Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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    Tuesday, January 24, 2006

    Online Gambling Takes Another Loss 

    You likely have seen ads for Internet gambling on many sports web sites, in magazines, and even on some athletes' backs. That is very likely to come to an end, at least in the U.S.

    The laws on Internet gambling vary from country to country. In the UK, for example, almost all gambling is regulated by the recently-formed national Gambling Commission. By 2007, this body will start also to regulate what is called "remote gambling", including online operations.

    In the U.S., however, all Internet gambling is considered illegal. The basis for this is a 1961 law known as the Wire Wager Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1084, which was set up to outlaw telephone bookies. While this law was passed long before there was an Internet, it still is interpreted as including communications technologies developed after its adoption. In 2000, an American named Jay Cohen, who ran an outfit known as World Sports Exchange which was based in Antigua, was convicted under it.

    While there are differing legal opinions as to whether or not this law actually covers Internet gambling, and to what degree if any the American government can forbid those on its soil from gambling with online services outside its borders, the prevailing opinion and the actual practice of the U.S. government has been to continue to enforce this law as far as Internet gambling is concerned.

    Now that enforcement has been taken to a new level.

    The Sporting News, which first started publishing in 1886 mainly as a baseball newspaper and now covers most mainstream sports, has just agreed to a $7.2 million settlement with the U.S. government over its running numerous ads for both Internet and telephone gambling in its magazine, on its web site, and on its radio stations.

    Even though some of these Internet gambling sites may be perfectly legal in their home countries or in other countries, the loss of access to the lucrative American gambling market will hurt them financially.

    Some people in the combat sports world are a little slow to get the news about many things, so now they have no excuse since this has been reported here.

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