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Online Gambling Site Betcha.com Owner Arrested in Louisiana

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Betcha.com owner, Nick Jenkins, was ultimately arrested on Wednesday in Louisiana for running a supposed illegal online gambling website that allowed bets to occur between members of the site, after pleading with the governor for over a month to not allow the extradition.

Betcha.com never accepted a bet from any customer, but it did allow members to bet each other and when a Louisiana state trooper successfully made a bet on the site Nick Jenkins was issued a warrant for his arrest.

The site was run out of Seattle, Washington where online betting is a Class C felony. Washington officials shut down Jenkins’ site within weeks of it opening to the public. Jenkins was pleading with the governor of his state to not allow an extradition to Louisiana, but on Wednesday he was denied.

Jenkins, and two others who worked for Betcha.com, voluntarily flew to Louisiana and turned themselves in to the police. Josie M. Imlay and Peter M. Abrahamsen were the other two arrested along with Jenkins.

If convicted, the three men could face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $20,000 each, State Police said.

Betcha.com made 70 cents off the bet the Louisiana state trooper made that ultimately got the men arrested.

Gambling Machine Payouts In Ohio In Danger After House Vote

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Gambling expansion is heavily supported in the House of Representatives in Ohio, which is majority Republican, but the way to expand the gambling is apparently an issue with these politicians.

The House voted for a bill on Wednesday that would make it illegal for cash prizes to be handed out from gaming machines.

The Senate is the next stop for the bill, which, if approved, and signed by the Governor, Ted Strickland, would become effective immediately.

The decision to immediately inact the law, with an emergency clause, is so it would not allow for time for any formal opposition such as petitions.

Anyone looking to get around the law by giving out non cash prizes is in for a shock also, as the bill would limit the amount of non cash prizes to be $10 or less, essentially taking any worthwhile prizes out of play.

According to David Corey, executive vice president of the Ohio Coin Machine Association, the politicians were not clear about the bill, as he claims he was deceived. “Everything we were told that they were going to allow for cash prizes for tournament play wasn’t done. Basically, we were lied to.”

Speaker of the House Jon Husted has said that the exception was just an option to be considered and after considering it, the House decided that they wanted to leave no options open to wiggle around the new law.

Anybody caught in violation of the bill could face a $1,000 fine and up to six month in jail for a first time offender, and up to a year in jail for a second offense.

Online Gambling

Online Gambling

Online Gambling Sanctions May Be Unenforceable

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The WTO has ruled in the favor of the small nation of Antigua & Barbuda. The ruling allows for Antigua to get back $21 million per year in sanctions in the online gambling case. The WTO ruled that the way to recoup that money is through the suspension of intellectual copyrights.

That is where the trouble could occur for Antigua. While the WTO has claimed that method of recouping their money as acceptable, there are other treaties that might block that from ever happening.

The TRIPS Agreement, which is the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Rights, via the WTO, would allow for this form of action for repayment to Antigua.

There is, however, something in the way of moving forward with that plan. The United States and Antigua and Barbuda are both a part of the Bern Convention.

“The TRIPS Agreement says that the contracting parties shall comply with the Bern Convention, with one exception, but the bulk of the economic protection under the Bern Convention is referred to in the TRIPS Agreement,” Jorgen Blomqvist, an international expert on intellectual property, told the Antigua Sun.

The Bern Convention appears to be in the way of the nation claiming back money from the U.S. The WTO has been behind Antigua the whole time. They have repeatedly won battle after battle in the WTO. Although they were victorious, it now appears they will have an uphill battle to receive any of their money.

“The fact that under one treaty you can make such sanctions does not relieve a country from responsibilities under other treaties,” said Blomqvist.

While it might be hard for Antigua to enforce what the WTO has done, it also does not relieve the U.S. of the responsibility to pay.