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PartyGaming, Sportingbet Coming Back to US Online Gambling Market?

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Oct/16/2008

An interesting report surfaced this week in the Times of London.

A settlement between the US Department of Justice and London-listed internet gambling operators may finally be in sight, writes David Wighton.

The DoJ's starting point seems to have been the repatriation of all money made by these companies in America before their withdrawal, coupled with a short spell behind bars for certain directors and founders.

The word in the industry now is that some form of payment that does not bankrupt the companies concerned is under discussion.

For the operators, this would wipe the slate clean so that individuals connected with the companies could travel to the US without fear of arrest and, if the ban is ever lifted, the companies could return to the biggest gambling market in the world.

For the US Government, a deal would provide a bit of cash at a time when it might need to find a few more billion to bail out some banks.

If only things were this easy. One of the key rallying points among US politicians these days is a call to boost the US economy by virtually eliminating any dependence on foreign industry. Everything from oil dependency to auto imports to contract workers in Asia has come under fire of late.

While it is almost inevitable that the US Government will reconsider regulation of the online gambling sector, current trends suggest that the starting point for such a complete shift in policy would start with home grown companies the likes of a Harrah's or MGM and maybe even Google. Next on the pecking order could be the expats operating in places like Costa Rica and the Caribbean.

The US Justice Department has shown it is not exactly accommodating to the online gambling industry. In light of the European Union's chest thumping and demands for the US to "change its stance or else" while the EU cannot get its own house in order (nearly all European Union nations have attempted to outlaw Internet gambling), it is doubtful we will see any type of negotiations in the not-so-distant future.

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Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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