Joined: 18 Aug 2004
|Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:59 am Post subject: Thinking of starting an online poker tour website
|Thinking of starting an online poker tour website in Georgia:
|From: shaggy shivers
Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2006 5:52 AM
Subject: Georgia State Legal Question
I am currently in the process of developing my own online poker tour that is based out of Georgia. It is my understanding that Georgia law prohibits the promotion of online or brick & mortor gaming; however, we will only be providing a service that directs people where they could go to gamble online. Would something like this be considered illegal within state law? Would only providing this service be considered illegal? Our site would be similar to that of onlinepokertour.com or donkeypokertour.com for reference.
Thank you in advance,
To: shaggy shivers
Sent: Monday, July 03, 2006 5:33 PM
Subject: Re: Georgia State Legal Question
Answers to these questions will depend to a large extent on whether and how the U.S. complies with a report by a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel last year which found the U.S. to be in breach of its trade obligations toward Antigua with respect to cross-border betting services. Since then, the U.S. has introduced two new bills to prohibit Internet gambling (see HR 4777) and wagering transactions (see HR 4411). These have now passed the House Judiciary Committee. See also HR 5474, a bill to create a commission to study the proper response of the United States to the growth of Internet gambling.
In addition, the Justice Department (DOJ) in several states has secured settlement agreements with Internet gambling advertisers requiring them to disgorge revenue from and refrain from any further advertising for what it considers to be illegal gambling services. (Scroll down here for more on those agreements).
To complicate matters, the U.S. recently signed CAFTA, a new trade agreement with Central America that allows signatories to provide gambling services within the U.S.
Antigua has now called for a WTO panel review of U.S. compliance with its trade obligations concerning Internet gambling, which has been less than negligible, in our view. Whether this will lead to a newly open, regulated Internet gambling market in the U.S. anytime soon is, well, a gamble.
Before you take the risk, please review information graciously provided by various attorneys and bar associations at our You Asked Us forum. This will help you sort out some of the questions counsel will ask you at a first meeting. We strongly suggest you find someone competent in the area of international law because of the cross-border nature of Internet business. There are three British bankers currently facing extradition to the U.S. on wire fraud charges over transactions with a U.S. company that took place in the U.K. The U.K., stately home of common law, has not charged the bankers with anything, but the U.S. calls the transactions at issue wire fraud. Everything is much more complicated post 9/11. If you need help finding legal counsel in your area, we will be pleased to assist.
Thanks for writing and please let us know if/when you launch.
Tracking Internet gambling law worldwide.
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