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Online Gambling Sector Marks One Year Anniversary of 'Blue Monday'
Today, May 23, 2012, is the one-year anniversary of “Blue Monday”, the day in which the US Attorney’s Office in Baltimore seized nearly a dozen online gambling domain names following a two-year sting operation.
The US Attorney’s Office set up a phony payment processor as part of its investigation and attempted to lure i-Gaming execs operating in other foreign jurisdictions to Guam, a US territory, where arrests could be made. That never happened.
One company, BetED.com, ultimately shut down. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were also seized from BetED.
Other businesses caught up in the probe, such as Bookmaker and DoylesRoom (since acquired by Americas Cardroom), continued to operate without skipping a beat, albeit these companies had to scramble to obtain new domains.
Rivaled by the more destructive “Black Friday” event that occurred more than a month prior (Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and UB.com were shut out of the US market on that day, April 15, 2011), “Blue Monday” in some respects has resulted in more significant overhauls by the industry. Since the domain seizures of May 23, 2011, the industry as a whole has adopted .ag and .eu extensions that are not overseen by the US Government and presumably out of reach when it comes to subsequent seizure attempts.
The Maryland US Attorney’s Office was forced to shut down its sting operation after one of the company’s it had been investigating, UB.com, got caught up in the “Black Friday” event that ultimately resulted in charges filed against several industry executives including money laundering and bank fraud. Both Full Tilt Poker and UB.com eventually shut down and still owe millions of dollars to customers. PokerStars refunded US customers within weeks and continues to thrive outside the US market.
Earlier this year, the Maryland office concluded its nearly six-year probe into the online gambling sector with the indictment of four individuals tied to Bodog.com, including the company’s founder, Calvin Ayre.
- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher
Submitted by C Costigan on Wed, 05/23/2012 - 10:39