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Two kinds of Canuck justice - a few examples

 
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 3:52 pm    Post subject: Two kinds of Canuck justice - a few examples Reply with quote

From America's OUCH! case - Antigua WTO remedies GATS breach/GATS slash:

Quote:
Are some remote gambling services more illegal than others?

Has the U.S. given Kahnawake Mohawks the prosecution all-clear?



Quote:
.. enforcement actions involving the prohibition for credit card companies and systems such as PayPal to make payments to overseas gambling operators, are capable of affecting all providers, and not only those from a particular country of origin. As far as the risk of criminal proceedings is concerned, all remote gambling operators a priori seem to be an equally likely target, even though a number of Antiguan operations may have been subject to prosecution in the past. (From the arbitrator's decision on the Cross-Border Betting Dispute with U.S., Dec. 21/07, pgs. 35-42)


We were surprised, to say the least, by repeated references to 'Kahnawake Territory' in the arbitrator's decision Dec. 21/07 on the Cross-Border Betting Dispute between the U.S. and Antigua at the World Trade Organization (WTO) - implying wrongly that Mohawks outside Montreal somehow are not subject to Canadian law. AS IF!

Quote:

More on Kahnawake's licensing agreement with Antigua.

More on the struggle by both to obtain the UK's coveted Whitelisting.



OR

Our question to Canadian trade authorities:

Will Internet gambling in Canada be under the exclusive control of MIT or will other First Nations also get a kick at the hugely profitable can, one wonders? Will ALL Canadians?

Quote:
More on the application of Canadian gambling prohibitions on Mohawk Internet Technologies (MIT), including the recent prosecution of Golden Palace.


UPDATE:

Quote:
Dead Dog Cafe Comedy Hour
Audio Cassette
By Frostback Cherokee wit Tom King
Includes select readings of the
Royal Commission Report
on Aboriginal Peoples (1996)


Quote:

"Stay calm. Be brave. Wait for the signs."
. -- Jasper Friendly Bear and Gracie Heavy Hand




Quote:
National Post
Ottawa renews bid to stamp out native gambling sites
By John Ivison
March 4/08


Quote:
The federal government said Tuesday it is considering new measures to stamp out Internet gaming sites based on a native reserve in Quebec, in a move that could spark conflict between Ottawa and Canada's First Nations ahead of a second national "day of action" this summer. The government deems the 400 or so poker and sports-betting sites operating from the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal to be illegal, but neither federal nor provincial governments have attempted to enforce the law. Now Ottawa is reviewing that position.

"Following recent concerns surrounding Internet gambling in Canada, the Minister of Justice [Rob Nicholson] has asked his officials to examine whether the enforcement of the Criminal Code provisions could be assisted with other measures," said Genevieve Breton, Mr. Nicholson's director of communications. The "other measures" are understood to be moves to restrict banks and credit card companies from conducting financial transactions with illegal Internet operators. Similar legislation was enacted in the United States two years ago.

The Mohawks of Kahnawake say these laws do not apply to them since they are a sovereign nation. They also cite section 35 of the Constitution, which was inserted to protect native culture. The Mohawks say that gaming has been central to their culture as a means of settling disputes through competition, not violence. Other native groups, such as the Alexander First Nation in Alberta, have said they plan to emulate Kahnawake.

Owners of horse-racing tracks, such as Great Canadian Gaming Corp., say they pay $1-billion in tax receipts every year to various levels of governments and incur huge expenses putting on the races. "These offshore operations just poach horse-racing and no one can do anything about it. They're parasites on the butt of Canada," said Ross McLeod, chief executive of Great Canadian Gaming, which owns four tracks in Canada. The track owners have also suggested that governments force Internet service providers to block the sites from Canadian bandwidth. "I expect the government to do the right thing and protect our country's interests," said Mr. McLeod.

Chuck Barnett, who is a member of the board of supervisors for Mohawk Internet Technologies, a utility company that provides connectivity services for the site owners at Kahnawake, sees Ottawa as a foreign government that has no business regulating activity on Mohawk territory. "However, if I were a Canadian, I might instead be more interested in how explicit legislation could serve as the catalyst for a potential source of economic development, employment and revenue through taxation," he said.

This view was echoed by Michael Lipton, a Toronto lawyer who specializes in gaming law. He said the horse racing industry has had a monopoly on gambling in Canada for years, with Woodbine Entertainment currently holding a lock on government-sanctioned online horse betting. "I guess if I had a monopoly, I wouldn't want anyone to compete against me either," he said. Mr. Lipton said the U.S. has faced serious technical difficulties implementing restrictions on the payment system. "They are completely bogged down on how to block this system." He acknowledged the Mohawks have had some problems with fraud. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which regulates Web sites operating from the reserve, fined one popular Web site -- Absolute Poker -- $500,000 after players complained of irregular betting that was traced back to someone associated with the site.

But he said most operations are transparent and credible. Rather than attempting prohibition, Mr. Lipton said the government should bring the Kahnawake sites into the system and regulate them. He said this would protect the vulnerable; guard against money laundering; bring in tax revenue; and, provide a competitive edge in the gaming software market in terms of international trade. "I think [Ottawa] should embrace this and recognize that people don't want to be in a position where the government tells them what they can or can't do in the peace of their own home," he said


Quote:
Scroll down here for a link to the excellent 40-page presentation, The Legality of Internet Gaming in Canada of March, 2005 by Michael Lipton, Q.C. and Kevin Weber of the Toronto firm, Elkind, Lipton & Jacobs.


Might Alexander First Nation somehow escape Canada's gambling restrictions?

Quote:
No chance.

"They promise and engage that they will in all respects obey and abide by the law, and they will maintain peace and good order between each other, and also between themselves and other tribes of Indians, and between themselves and others of Her Majesty's subjects, whether Indians or whites, now inhabiting or hereafter to inhabit any part of the said ceded tracts, and that they will not molest the person or property of any inhabitant of such ceded tracts, or the property of Her Majesty the Queen, or interfere with or trouble any person passing or travelling through the said tracts, or any part thereof, and that they will aid and assist the officers of Her Majesty in bringing to justice and punishment any Indian offending against the stipulations of this treaty, or infringing the laws in force in the country so ceded." (emphasis added) (Excerpt from Treaty 6 governing First Alexander Nation in Alberta)


Quote:
More about the restrictions on aboriginal self-government.

More on the very real hurdles hampering First Nations land claims AND business ventures.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Impossible Odds:

British Columbia Magazine
Magazine Subscription
Wilderness warrior Betty Krawczyk
Why British Columbia's feistiest great-grandmother is willing to go to jail for nature.
By Brian Payton
Spring, 2007


Quote:
View Betty's blog for B.C. eco-protest updates.





Quote:
Betty Krawczyk believes that citizens are obliged to speak up when faced with injustice. The 78-year-old grandmother has scolded government, inudstry, and even fellow conservationists in defence of British Columbia's wilderness. Her outspoken manner inspires some, goads others - and has cost her almost two years in cumulative prison terms. (emphasis added)

Krawczyk's remarkable journey has taken her from an impoverished childhood in southern Louisiana to the front lines of B.C.'s environmental movement. While raising her eight children, she found time to pen more than 200 fiction stories in the true-confessions genre ("I was his his love slave") for popular women's magazines - before taking up the cause of the Women's Movement in the late 1960s. During the Vietnam War, she emigrated to Canada after her first son joined the airforce and her second was about to be drafted.

Forty years, four marriages and divorces, eight grandchildren later, the Vanocuver resident is probably best known for her role in the Clayoquot Sound protests of 1993.

On a sunny afternoon, Krawczyk sat down beside an arbutus tree to reflect on her life in B.C.'s environmental movement. Her perch afforded a view of West Vancouver's Eagleridge Bluffs high above Horseshoe Bay, where she and other protesters spent six weeks on a blockade last summer to protest a highway expansion that has since proceeded through the area. ...

Q. What defines a successful campaign?

A. Clayoquot was successful in that is now a biosphere reserve. But it is still threatened, and I may have to go back there. For the moment, it seems all right. The Elaho was a success. It is now protected. The Walbran was not a success. The courts protected the logging companies. ...

Q. Were you ever frightened in your work as an activist?

A. That's a hard one. I guess I'm not frightened. I just take one day at a time.

My biggest worry is for the safety of the people out on isolated blockades. We were in the Walbran for over three weeks. It was very isolated and there had been some bad violence. Young protesters were attacked and it has not been brought to court. I keep in touch with the press and the RCMP; it's the press that keeps violence down. ...

Q. Why can't you work within the system?

A. Primarily, because there is too much money involved.

Corporations buy off the democratic protest. They have influence and raw power. So it is very difficult, even in a system like ours, a system that is supposed to be democratic. It's not just our environment that's lost if we don't act decisively - democracy is lost.

So many people think that if they go vote every four years, their duty as a citizen is done. Your duty as a citizen is not done. Your duty as a citizen is to take part in the decisions being made, not to just pick someone else to do it for you...Only we as citizens can make changes. We mustn't depend on government to do it for us. Because they won't. (-- pgs. 52-56)


Ontario injunction barring native protesters:

Yahoo News
Blockade of eastern Ont. rail line ends; protesters warn of further actions
By Allison Jones
April 21/07


Quote:
DESERONTO, Ont. (CP) - A key organizer of an aboriginal blockade, which paralyzed passenger and freight rail traffic on the busy Toronto-Montreal corridor, is warning that the protest that ended early Saturday is just the beginning in a series of "escalating" actions.

"We've identified targets as part of this campaign, one being the railway, one being provincial highways and one being the town (of Deseronto) itself," said Shawn Brant. "The disruption on the CN line was a first in a series of economic disruptions, the first in a campaign." he said. "The campaign calls for an ever escalating degree." The next target has already been chosen and plans to finalize the next action are in the works, said Brant, who commented Saturday morning at the site of contention in the dispute - a gravel quarry that the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte say is their land.

Though the protesters originally said they would stay at the railway blockade for 48 hours, it ended peacefully after about 30 hours at 6 a.m. Saturday, after a sleepless night of negotiations with provincial police and other officials. Protesters said they chose to end it early over fears of a violent conclusion. A court injunction ordered the protesters and the dilapidated school bus off the tracks with arrests warned as a consequence, but the order was never enforced by police. No arrests have been made at this point, said Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kristine Rae. "We're pleased that it was a peaceful resolution." ...

Condominiums are planned using gravel from the quarry for an area known as the Culbertson Land Tract, which is on a section of land given to the Six Nations in 1793. The Mohawks contend they never relinquished any part of it. (emphasis added)


B.C. injunction barring Eagleridge Bluff protesters:

News 1130
Betty Krawczyk sentencing leads to courthouse occupation
By Jim Goddard
March 5/07


Quote:
More about both protests and the different treatment of protesters.

More examples of two-tiered Canuck justice.

More on eco-protests, the Tsawwassen treaty and the wacky way B.C. 'BILLIES protect their priceless pristine wilderness and some of the world's richest agricultural land.

Heads up, Olympics 2010 - meet the locals, celebrate their accomplishments and try not to cry!


Quote:
Demonstrators upset with a 10-month sentence given to Betty Krawczyk for contempt of court have now occupied the lobby of the Vancouver law courts. Chanting "Shame, shame" and beating drums, a dozen protesters took over the lobby area near the Supreme Court registry office. Sherriffs have lined up to prevent them from entering the office. Betty Krawczyk was sentenced to 10 months in jail for criminal contempt of court for her role in protests against highway construction through the Eagleridge Bluffs in West Vancouver. The 78-year-old environmentalist, who has already spent more than two years in jail for anti-logging protests, has been given another lengthy term in B.C. Supreme Court. Justice Brenda Brown ruled last month that Krawczyk's breach of a court order "was open, continuous and flagrant". And Krawczyk is not being given credit for time already served in jail. (emphasis added)


Quote:
Editor's Note: Betty's lawyer, Cameron Ward told the CBC Early Edition in an interview early in March that the judiciary is wrong to enforce an injunction - a civil remedy intended to keep parties to a dispute in the same position until the dispute is tried - as if the case was in substance a criminal matter.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
TheStar.com
Not That Special Eastern Hornblower
BETTING ON KAHNAWAKE
Mohawk territory gambling on a risky business

By Lisa Wright
April 19/08


Quote:
Treasury of the West
Volume I
Audio CD
Featuring Rex Allen's 1962 hit,
Don't Go Near the Indians




Quote:
Son, don't go near the Indians
Please stay away
Son, don't go near the Indians
Please do what I say



Quote:
KAHNAWAKE, QUE.–The newly built, red aluminum building beside the Big Bear Trading post on Highway 132 doesn't exactly scream Vegas from the outside. ... Snake's Poker Club – which one bar patron says "reminds me of Arizona" with its desert-style decor – is a pretty swanky spot with soft leather chairs arranged around 15 bright red tables, each emblazoned in the centre with a Mohawk warrior's face in profile. Gamblers in this 24-hour poker palace, 10 kilometres south of Montreal, are sipping drinks, tucking into thick steaks and smoking up a storm around the U-shaped bar. ... Landicho just got a straight flush, and the house pays $200 for a handful of hearts like his.

"This place is awesome. It's better than playing poker at the Montreal casino because that's all electronic. Here they have real dealers and cards and chips," notes Landicho, grinning ear-to-ear. And Snake's card club – complete with a "Viper Room" for VIPs – is the real deal for both residents and visitors who want to play a cash game of Texas Hold'em.

But in Ottawa's eyes , it's all too real – and anything but legal.

The handful of poker dens that have sprouted up in this proud Mohawk territory of about 10,000 people is just a fraction of the lucrative gambling operation that has taken root along the St. Lawrence River's south shore. (emphasis added) ...

But touring the 5,300-hectare territory ... you quickly get the sense that Kahnawake struggles with ... trying to retain and uphold the historic ways of the Mohawk nation while literally taking a gamble in the new economy of the 21st century. ... They issue their own passports and have their own "Peacekeepers" (police force). And they also happen to be the undisputed capital of online gambling in North America, housing one of the most cutting-edge, high-tech centres for poker, casino games and sports betting in the world.

While the games people play at Kahnawake (pronounced Gah-nah-WAH-gay) technically violate Canadian law, for the last decade they've enjoyed a hands-off approach by government and police, who clearly aren't eager to walk into the absolute hornet's nest of shutting them down. The bitter memories of the 77-day Oka standoff in 1990 that resulted in one death still linger in the minds of residents today, not to mention the Canadian and Quebec governments, says Mohawk Council of Kahnawake Grand Chief Mike Delisle. (Mohawks here blocked a major Montreal artery, the Mercier Bridge, in support of a protest by First Nations in neighbouring Kanesatake over the expansion of a golf course.)

.. The biggest piece of the gaming pie here in "K-town," as the kids call it, is of the online variety and centred at a state-of-the-art, high security fortress called Mohawk Internet Technologies, or MIT, which houses the computer servers for 470 global Internet gambling sites. You can't just walk in and take a tour of the massive operation, which is coincidentally known as MIT, just like Cambridge's well-known Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In fact, security swiftly approaches any unidentified vehicles that drive into the parking lot. Pictures show the inside lined with rows and rows of servers stored individually in what look like tall, black high school lockers. MIT is regulated by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which licenses the only servers in North America that host real money online gambling sites. All others are based in the Caribbean, Australia and Europe.

... "The games take place in Kahnawake Mohawk territory. The games don't take place where the player is. If you're logging on in Topeka, Kansas, you're playing right here. All the core engines which drive the games are located in Kahnawake," explains Chuck Barnett, who sits on MIT's board of supervisors (also on the board of directors of the Kahnawake Economic Development Commission). "It's a massive responsibility. I sleep with one eye open because the Internet is on 24 hours, seven days a week. There is no vacation from this."

The ante for those who apply to run such sites is steep: $25,000, which includes deep financial and criminal background checks on all applicants. After that, the annual fee for MIT's international clients — currently 65 are licensed to run nearly 500 websites – is $10,000. ...

MIT employs 200 people while another 500 jobs will soon be created here by Mohawk-Morris Gaming Group, which will handle the operations and marketing of the popular Bodog Entertainment brand – the online gambling powerhouse founded by colourful Canadian billionaire Calvin Ayre — in North America. "These are technically savvy jobs. These are 21st century jobs. This is not slinging hash in a diner somewhere or distributing bingo cards or working in a smoke-filled betting parlour," notes Barnett.

The Mohawk council doesn't collect or pay taxes to the federal or provincial government. Delisle says MIT raises a "substantial" portion of the community's revenue, which is fed back into the simple little town for everything from upgrades to the arena to equipping hospitals and upgrading schools, where the traditional Mohawk language is still taught. The fact that Kahnawake doesn't collect taxes and has been allowed to operate outside federal gambling law rankles the Woodbine Entertainment Group, who argue their market share is being eroded by illegal online gambling
. (emphasis added)

Liberal MP Roy Cullen, whose Etobicoke North riding includes Woodbine, met a week ago with Justice Minister Rob Nicholson – who also has the Fort Erie Race Track in his riding – to talk about the online gambling issue. If no action is taken, he vows to introduce a private member's bill so that the issue will be debated and dealt with in Parliament. "I think something is going to happen. My preference would be to open it up and regulate it," says Cullen. (emphasis added) Grand Chief Delisle said the justice minister's office assured him and MIT last month that nothing was imminent. "There's always a concern that people are keeping an eye on us," he says. Meanwhile Nicholson's director of communications said the minister is consulting with various stakeholders to discuss the matter. ...

Opinion on gambling is mixed locally. A few ladies, who were selling raffle tickets at the post office near the Caisse Populaire bank to raise money to send local athletes to the upcoming North American Indigenous Games, said they didn't like what it brings to the territory, and they're relieved that two referendums on bringing in a casino here, like the Mohawks have in Akwesasne, resulted twice in a thumbs-down. "It's a negative influence on our young people," said one mother who did not wish to be identified.



Quote:

LEGALITY OF RESERVE'S ONLINE GAMBLING INDUSTRY A TANGLE, AND A POLITICAL HOT POTATO TO BOOT - a few corrections to the sidebar:

• ... The Canadian Criminal Code, like U.S. laws, prohibits wagering over telephone lines. Gambling operations in Canada also require a provincial gambling licence. Games that involve a cost, chance to win and a prize are considered a lottery scheme under the Criminal Code. Benefiting from the operation of such events without a licence may also be against the Criminal Code. The WTO decision - America's OUCH! case DOES NOT affect Canadians, Mohawks included. The OUCH! case settled ONLY that the U.S. may not discrimate against Antigua remote gambling service providers. Other WTO nations may similarly challenge the U.S. restrictions. The 27-member European Communities (EC) is currently contemplating such a challenge. Again, these GATS-breach challenges are distinguished from the GATS-slash negotiations over the U.S. decision to clarify its legal position against remote gambling by removing gambling services term from the GATS agreement altogether.

• In the U.S., ... the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) ... prohibits U.S. banks from processing transactions involving online gambling, but leaves a loophole for bets on horse racing.

• MIT's Internet gaming traffic fell by half when the U.S. law was passed, but now the company reports it's hotter than ever due to enforcement woes.

• In 2005, MIT, which pays no taxes, made $17 million (U.S.) on revenues of $24.7 million.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Vancouver Sun
Local Real Estate Pumper
* Bodog's ownership transfer guarantees virtual immunity
By David Baines
April 23/08


Quote:
* Update:
Maybe not. More on the fallout from a U.S. investigation of Bodog
.

EXCLUSIVE:
The question now is whether Kahnawake Mohawks to whom Ayre transferred certain Bodog business interests will be similarly targeted. Here in Canada, anyway, that's up to Quebec's public safety leader, federal justice minister tells PokerPulse
.


Quote:
Treasury of the West
Volume I
Audio CD
Featuring Rex Allen's 1962 hit,
Don't Go Near the Indians




Quote:
Son, don't go near the Indians
Please stay away
Son, don't go near the Indians
Please do what I say



Quote:
The concentration of online gambling activities on the Kahnawake Reserve in Quebec is getting quite frightening. For years, Bodog, the online gambling firm run by part-time Vancouver resident Calvin Ayre, has run its business through servers owned and operated by Mohawk Internet Technologies, which is located on the reserve. MIT services hundreds of gambling websites, and processes more than half the world's online gambling traffic.

Last September, Bodog announced it would license its North American operations to the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, which is also located on the reserve. On Monday, Ayre belatedly announced he had also transferred ownership of Bodog to the Morris Mohawk Group. Morris Mohawk is headed by Alwyn Morris, who won two medals in kayaking in the 1984 Olympics and was made a member of the Order of Canada. He is now director of the Mohawk Council of Chiefs in Kahnawake. "We could not have found a more perfect partner than Alwyn Morris and Morris Mohawk Gaming Group. Morris is a true Canadian hero," Ayre said in a release Monday.

Whether he's a hero or not depends on your point of view. Morris, like his Mohawk brethren, is using the reserve as a safe haven for all sorts of activities that would be considered illegal elsewhere in Canada. After the Oka debacle in 1990, federal and provincial authorities have been too scared to apply laws on the reserve that all other Canadians are subject to. (emphasis added)

Transferring ownership to the Morris Mohawk group has provided Bodog with virtual immunity from prosecution. The firm can solicit billions of dollars in wagers without regard for regulation or taxation. Your local Rotary club, meanwhile, has to procure a licence before it can hold something as benign as a charity raffle. ...


The National Post
Still Another Sub-standard Bugle
Guns, drugs, cash seized in massive multi-reserve raid
300 officers arrest 29 on various charges

By Max Harrold, Canwest News Service
March 26/08


Quote:
View the Clear Channel Broadcasting slideshow of seizures made in 'Operation Cancun,' involving an estimated 300 police officers from both sides of the border.


Quote:
MONTREAL -- Police have arrested 29 suspects and seized weapons, drugs and cash in a massive police crackdown Wednesday on a "criminal organization" involved in the smuggling of marijuana to the United States. A team of aboriginal, provincial and federal police served notice that they've made a serious dent in what they described as a multimillion-dollar marijuana pipeline from Mohawk reserves near Montreal into the United States.

"We're sending a message," said Gorden McGregor, head of the Quebec First Nations Chiefs of Police Association. "Drugs are not acceptable in our communities, clear and simple. It comes down to us. If we don't stop this, who will?"

Barrels of marijuana worth an estimated $1-million, bundles of $2-million in cash, assault rifles, three grenade launchers and some brass knuckles were seized in the operation which mobilized 300 officers. Along with the nearly 115 kilograms of pot, police also seized 10 luxury vehicles, including high-end SUVs and at least one sports car, a Ford GT worth $250,000. "Not just everyone has these in their homes," Dwayne Zacharie, chief of the Peace Keepers in Kahnawake, said of the seized AK-47 and M16 assault rifles.

One of those arrested was Daniel Dwayne Delisle Jr., 43, of Kahnawake, on Montreal's south shore. Police allege he led the ring that took pot grown in Mascouche and Chateauguay, near Montreal, and shipped it to the U.S. through the porous international border inside the Akwesasne Mohawk reserve, which straddles the St. Lawrence River and the borders of Ontario, Quebec and New York State. The drugs were smuggled by boat in the summer and by trucks and Ski-Doo on ice bridges in the winter, said Sgt. Michael Harvey of the RCMP's customs and excise section. Some stuffed the marijuana in hockey bags, he said.

"They just bring it in through St. Regis, Que., and along the main road in Akwesasne. It's a high volume operation. (Smaller) arrests are made all the time" on both the Canadian and the U.S. side, he said. The pot's street value in the U.S. is double what it is in Canada, Mr. Harvey said. ... The suspects face charges of gangsterism, drug exportation, illegal weapons possession, drug possession, drug trafficking, conspiracy to traffic drugs, conspiracy to export drugs and drug manufacturing. Police are still searching for two more suspected smugglers.

Assisting the Kahnawake and Akwesasne Peace Keepers were RCMP and Surete du Quebec officers, in what was known as Operation Cancun. Officers with the Ontario Provincial Police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration also assisted.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our e-mail to Justice Minister Nicholson and MP Cullen:

Quote:
Yes, Minister
The Complete Collection
DVD




Quote:
From: legal
To: Nichor@parl.gc.ca ; culler@parl.gc.ca
Cc: legal
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2008 3:35 PM
Subject: Re: Kahnawake Mohawks setting Canada's unwritten gambling rules


Hello Minister Nicholson and MP Cullen,

PokerPulse trackers were delighted to read a recent account in the corporate media http://pokerpulse.com/legal/viewtopic.php?p=541#541 of 'discussions' you're having in Ottawa regarding the possibility of regulating an online gambling industry here in Canada - one that might be open even to taxpaying Canadians with no history of armed stand-offs, weapons or cross-border smuggling. We were wondering, will Quebec Mohawks and one or two of the eastern racetracks continue to set unwritten Canadian gambling rules, or might 'interested others' like us be included among the 'stakeholders' in those discussions?

There are an AWFUL LOT of honest, law-abiding Canadians, including many sophisticated First Nations, who are tired of having our integrity mocked by the mighty Mohawks of eastern Canada who operate as Web hosts with impunity! How much of their remote gambling profits might Canadians reasonably look forward to in the way of disgorgement, one wonders? How much of MIT's profits to date would the Justice Department estimate as the proceeds of crime? Half? More? All? Could you or anyone else say truthfully that ANY of it was obtained legally? After all, there should be SOME penalty for the gamble they admittedly took. And if it happens as it should that Canada decides to open the market, what about the leg-up Mohawks will have acquired by virtue of flouting Canadian and U.S. laws? Because you've been asleep at the switch so long, these are now issues you'll have to include in those 'discussions'. It would also be a prudent federal government that resolves these matters before your U.S. counterparts take them into their own hands - and Treasury.

You're both right in thinking that Canada is going to have to take a position on Mohawks' illegal Web host activity. Why not be heroes and celebrate MIT's bold maverick initiative by making it openly legal for ALL of us to profit? Depending on our GATS obligations, Canada might even join our newest trading partner, Antigua, in challenging U.S. remote gambling prohibitions - make up some of our losses in the softwood lumber disaster. Europe's considering one, too. Just a thought.

Come on, Canada! Say Yes, Minister!

Earnestly,

L.M. Murray
Editor,
LegalAtPokerpulse.com
Tracking Internet gambling and gambling
law worldwide.

P.S.
Quote:
ANOTHER 'inconvenient truth':
Gambling online is better for the planet than travel to brick-and-mortar casinos!





We'll post any replies we receive here. Please check back soon for updates.

Quote:
Note: And here it is - received Aug. 13/08!



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, no! Not AGAIN!
ANOTHER cheating incident spreads doubt about MIT
:

Quote:
EXCLUSIVE:
The question now is whether Kahnawake Mohawks to whom Ayre transferred certain Bodog business interests will be similarly targeted. Here in Canada, anyway, that's up to Quebec's public safety leader, federal justice minister tells PokerPulse
.

Quote:
Treasury of the West
Volume I
Audio CD
Featuring Rex Allen's 1962 hit,
Don't Go Near the Indians




Quote:
Son, don't go near the Indians
Please stay away
Son, don't go near the Indians
Please do what I say



Quote:
The National Post
Corporate Daily
Native policing of gambling in doubt after online cheating
Unnamed insiders allowed to view opponents' cards
By Graeme Hamilton
May 31/08


Quote:
Confidence in the ability of Mohawk regulators to police lucrative online gambling operations on the Kahnawake reserve has been shaken following the second cheating scandal in less than a year. (emphasis added) UltimateBet.com, which is owned by a company controlled by former Kahnawake grand chief Joe Norton, acknowledged on Thursday that unnamed insiders had altered its poker software to allow them to see opponents' hidden cards. "The individuals responsible were found to have worked for the previous ownership of UltimateBet prior to the sale of the business to Tokwiro [Mr. Norton's company] in October 2006," the site said in a statement. "Tokwiro is taking full responsibility for this situation and will immediately begin refunding UltimateBet customers for any losses that were incurred as a result of unfair play."

The company refused to disclose the amount of fraudulent winnings, but poker observers have said it runs into the millions. An analysis of the scandal on the online poker forum twoplustwo.com found that one of the cheaters won more than $600,000 in the space of four months last year. The software glitch was in place for at least 15 months, UltimateBet said. (emphasis added)

In January, Absolute Poker, also owned by Tokwiro Enterprises, was fined $500,000 by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission for a similar cheating scam, which was also blamed on rogue employees. The commission, first created in 1996 when Mr. Norton was grand chief, has three members from the community, which is just south of Montreal.

Bobby Mamudi, an industry analyst and managing editor of the London-based Gaming Intelligence Group, said the new cheating incident is another blow to the reputation of Kahnawake's gambling industry. "They definitely do seem to be losing credibility and not doing too much about it," he said. He called the cheating uncovered in Kahnawake "quite unique" in the global online gambling world. Sites taking bets on sporting events have been shut down for failing to have sufficent funds to pay winners. "There's never been something like this to do with poker and this kind of overt cheating," he said.

** The federal government considers the 400 or so poker and sports-betting sites operating from Kahnawake to be illegal, but, fearing a confrontation, both the federal and provincial governments have been reluctant to intervene. Last March, however, an aide to Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said the government was studying ways of shutting down the gambling, possibly by targeting financial transactions with illegal Internet operators. (emphasis added)


* Murray Marshall
, legal counsel to the gaming commission, said that Kahnawake's regulation is among "the tightest in the world" and said similar frauds have occurred in casino gambling and banking. "We would obviously prefer to prevent all possibilities of this kind of thing happening, but no system is infallible," he said.

UltimateBet, one of the most popular online poker sites, identified six player accounts that took part in fraudulent activity. They used 18 different online aliases, including NioNio, flatbroke33, ilike2win, UtakeIt2, FlipFlop2, WhackMe44 and RockStarLA. It said the "security hole" that allowed the fraud has been plugged and all of the individuals associated with the cheating have been permanently banned. It also promised to increase security.

Steven Ware, author of an upcoming book on poker strategy, has followed the UltimateBet controversy closely since players first voiced their suspicions online in January. In an analysis on twoplustwo. com of NioNio's winning hands, he wrote that the odds of someone getting that lucky were "about the same as winning the powerball [lottery] jackpot three days in a row." In an interview yesterday, Mr. Ware said stricter oversight is needed of the Kahnawake gambling sites. "Online poker is a billion-dollar-a-year industry, and it's unfathomable that companies in this industry would operate with a total lack of transparency, beyond the reach of the law," he said. "Kahnawake and the online gambling sites that it runs have shown time and time again that they are not willing to keep their games fair or protect the players."

UltimateBet officials declined to be interviewed yesterday. In an e-mailed statement, the company said the "perpetrators" of the fraud left the company "well before the fraudulent activity was uncovered." Asked whether the matter has been referred to the police, the company said only that it is in the hands of the gaming commission.


More about Murray Marshall and the I-gaming 'regulatory' scheme he helped create:

Quote:
Murray Marshall has practiced law in Canada since 1987 and is a member of the bars of Alberta and Québec. Since 1993, Mr. Marshall has served as legal counsel to the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, the governing body of a North American Indian community located near Montreal, Canada. He has also been counsel to the Kahnawake Gaming Commission since its inception in 1996. Presently, Mr. Marshall is a partner with the law firm, Marshall Sokolyk, Barrister & Solicitors ~ Avocats, which maintains offices in Alberta and Quebec.

** In 1998, Mr. Marshall developed the legal structure of Mohawk Internet Technologies – an Internet hosting facility operated within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake. Together with Frank Catania, he assisted in the development of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission’s Regulations concerning Interactive Gaming.

Mr. Marshall has participated on gaming panels in various parts of the world and has been published in the Canadian Bar Review, Internet Gambling Report and Global Gaming Business magazine.

Mr. Marshall has been a member of the Interactive Gaming Council Board of Directors for more than five years. He is also a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law and International Association of Gaming Regulators. (From IMGL Paris 2005 online June 8/08)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See also Drug raids on Mohawk territories
Mohawks appoint team to investigate new cheating allegations:

Quote:
EXCLUSIVE:
The question now is whether Kahnawake Mohawks to whom Ayre transferred certain Bodog business interests will be similarly targeted. Here in Canada, anyway, that's up to Quebec's public safety leader, federal justice minister tells PokerPulse
.

Quote:
Treasury of the West
Volume I
Audio CD
Featuring Rex Allen's 1962 hit,
Don't Go Near the Indians




Quote:
Son, don't go near the Indians
Please stay away
Son, don't go near the Indians
Please do what I say



Quote:
View the two-page news release of July 27/08, Kahnawake Gaming Commission appoints independent monitoring-investigation team:


Quote:
Effective immediately, the Kahnawa:ke Gaming Commission (KGC) has appointed an independent monitor, led by former New Jersey State Gaming Regulator, Frank Catania, to investigate the KGC Licensee, Tokwiro Ent., parent company of both Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet. Mr. Catania is a former Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), the regulatory and enforcement agency responsible for maintaining integrity and trust in all Atlantic City gaming operations. As division director, he was a driving force in updating the New Jersey Casino Control Act by fine tuning the balance between regulatory necessity and economic stewardship. After leaving the DGE, he served as the vice president in charge of compliance for Players International, Inc., where he was instrumental in resolving compliance issues the company had encountered in the State of Louisiana, prior to his appointment. He is a principal in Catania Gaming Consultants and the Law Offices of Catania & Associates LLC. The Independent Monitoring Team will be given the task of completing a full forensic audit/investigation of the online gaming business of both licensed entities.

The main purpose of the investigation is to ensure that the games offered to the public are fair and honest and that all player protections as required by the Kahnawa:ke Gaming Regulations are being complied with, without exception. The monitoring team will also be charged with verification that all those involved in the fraudulent activities in any manner, no matter how slight, have been or are removed from the licensee company and verify that Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker have submitted to full compliance with the directives issued by the KGC and recommended by the independent monitor. Furthermore, Mr. Catania’s team will be empowered by the KGC to have full access to interview all employees, past or present, review all records, contact and interview all sub contractors and individuals whom the monitoring team believes necessary. Any failure by the licensees could result in immediate revocation of their license privileges with the KGC.

In the event that any criminal activity is found to have occurred, such activity will be reported to the appropriate authorities for possible prosecution. KGC License Holder, Tokwiro Enterprises has agreed to comply fully and submit to this independent monitor. ...


About the monitoring team leader:

According to Reuters Aug. 15/08:

Quote:
Frank Catania is a Director of Empire Resorts Inc. He has been a principal at Catania Consulting Group and a lawyer at Catania & Associates since January 1999. Prior to this, he was the assistant attorney general and director of New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, a position he took in 1994. Mr. Catania was a managing partner at the law offices of Catania & Harrington up until that time and was engaged in all aspects of civil and criminal litigation, real estate transactions, and corporate representation. He was also elected and served as the assemblyman for New Jersey’s 35th Legislative District from 1990 through 1994. Mr. Catania is currently a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law association and was chairman of the International Association of Gaming Regulators from 1998 to 1999. He has a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law and a B.A. from Rutgers College. Mr. Catania became a director in November 2005.


From Catania Gaming Consultants About Us:

Quote:
... An attorney, he is of counsel to Catania & Associates, Law Offices, L.L.C. ... Deputy Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly...


And from International Masters of Gaming Law:

Quote:
... an attorney, is president and principal in Catania Consulting Group, Inc. of New Jersey, a consulting firm with extensive experience in gaming issues, and serves as Of Counsel to the Law Offices of Sterns & Weinroth, a firm with expertise in gaming law.


What we found:

When we searched Catania & Associates, LLC Aug. 15/08, the firm had no authoritative Internet presence aside from a listing along with Frank Catanias jr. and sr. at the Passaic County Bar Association, a division of the New Jersey State Bar Association, though neither Catania nor the firm is listed among attorneys in the casino law section; nor does the association verify membership status of its listings.

Nor was he listed among attorneys at Sterns & Weinroth as Of Counsel or anything else. Couldn't find him at Findlaw, either.

Not licensed to provide legal advice in Quebec, either:

Quote:
From: jgodin@barreau.qc.ca
To: legal@pokerpulse.com
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 1:48 PM
Subject: RE: Practising Members


To follow upon your request,

Mr. Frank Catania is not a member of the Barreau du Québec and he is not authorized to practice law in Québec.

Truly yours,

Jacqueline Godin, Préposée
aux renseignements du Tableau
de l'Ordre
Téléphone 514 954-3466
Télécopieur 514 954-3464


A blast or two from the past:

Quote:
The New York Times
Democrats Ask Whitman to Withdraw Court Choice
By Jerry Gray
April 23/99


Quote:
Senate Democrats stepped up their efforts to quash the nomination of Attorney General Peter G. Verniero to the State Supreme Court today, asking the Governor to withdraw the nomination. They also asked a court to force Mr. Verniero to release confidential documents about his involvement in five controversial cases, including the investigation into racial profiling by state police. ...

At about the time Democratic staff members were circulating Mr. Adler's letter to reporters in the State House, lawyers for the Democratic minority leader in the Senate, Richard J. Codey, were filing a lawsuit in Superior Court in Trenton demanding that Mr. Verniero release files that the Attorney General has said are confidential or privileged materials.

The documents deal with five issues that the Democrats hope, if fully disclosed, will undermine Mr. Verniero's support. They include the sale of assets by HIP Health Plan of New Jersey to PHP Healthcare Corporation; allegations of racial profiling by the New Jersey State Police; allegations against Gualberto Medina, the state's Commerce Secretary, of improper sexual advances toward a reporter; the appointment to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority of Michael Francis, who is awaiting trial on charges that he used the office for personal gain; and the investigation of Frank Catania, who was the director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement from September of 1994 until his resignation last December.

In the summer of 1997, Mr. Catania and Mr. Verniero were locked in a public dispute, reportedly over Mr. Catania's office clearing the way for a renewal of one of Donald Trump's casino licenses. Mr. Verniero ordered a State Police officer posted outside Mr. Catania's office to protect sensitive documents
. (emphasis added)



On resignation from public office:

Quote:
The New York Times
ATLANTIC CITY; Casino Chief to Resign; He Blames the Commute
Dec. 6/98


Quote:
The head of the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, which regulates and monitors Atlantic City casinos, is stepping down after four years in the job.

Frank Catania, a lawyer and former state assembyman, will resign Jan. 31. He said last week he was unsure whether he would return to private law practice or seek work in the casino industry.

If he sought work in the industry, he would be banned from working for New Jersey casino companies for two years under post-employment restrictions of the state ethics law.

Mr. Catania, 57, of Hawthorne, said he was resigning because he could not commit to two more years in the job, as the Whitman administration wanted. He also said he was tired of the three-hour daily commute to the division's offices in Trenton. He said he was not being forced out of the job, which pays $95,000 a year.


Quote:
More fireworks between Catania and the former Attorney General, too. Search both names at The New York Times online.



Again, why seek advice from New Jersey, of all places?

Quote:
While the development of gambling in New Jersey predates the legalized casino industry, the media gave considerable attention to the enactment of casino-gambling legislation. At that time Governor Brendan Byrne issued a warning to organized criminals to "keep your filthy hands out of Atlantic City, keep the hell out of our state." These good intentions were not sufficient to keep the industry pure!

Without repeating the documented list of organized crime business ties, friendships, direct payoffs or compromised deals that characterized many aspects of the gambling industry in New Jersey, even before the casinos opened, the extent of official corruption at the state and local level, in addition to the massive influence peddling, was extensive. For example, after all of the planning for a rigorous investigation process into applicants for casino licenses, the Mayor was quoted as saying, "We're not concerned about who runs them" and that he only cared that the casinos were opened to improve the Atlantic City economy. This view was perhaps indicative of the negligence of city officials and the corruption that already existed. It was this attitude that was to determine the general direction in which the New Jersey casino industry was to go. (footnotes omitted) (From Current Law Enforcement Issues in Canadian Gambling by Margaret Beare in Gambling in Canada: Golden Goose or Trojan Horse? A Report from the First National Symposium on Lotteries and Gambling, May, 1988, edited by Colin S. Campbell and John Lowman, published by the School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, at p. 180).


Link to this entry
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dancing the federalism fandango
Federal justice minister weighs in with PokerPulse on Mohawks' exclusive immunity (so far) as Canada's only I-gaming hosts
:

Quote:
From: Ministerial Correspondence Unit
To: legal@pokerpulse.com
Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 8:47 AM
Subject: Correspondence from the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada


Dear L. M. Murray:

Thank you for your correspondence concerning Internet gambling. I regret the delay in responding.

The general scheme of the gambling provisions of the Criminal Code is to prohibit all forms of gambling, except those specifically permitted by the Code.

While Parliament enacts the gambling provisions found in the Code, the prosecution of these offences is the responsibility of the provincial attorneys general. If you have not already done so, you may wish to write to Mr. Jacques P. Dupuis, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Quebec, who is responsible for the administration of justice in Quebec. His office is located at Louis-Philippe-Pigeon Building, 1200 route d’Église, Floor 9, Québec, Quebec G1V 4M1.

As you know, Canada, unlike the United States of America, is not a signatory to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) provision that relates to gambling. The concerns you raise regarding the United States of America’s ban on cross-border Internet gambling fall within the purview of my colleague, the Honourable Michael Fortier, Minister of International Trade. I have therefore taken the liberty of forwarding a copy of your correspondence to Minister Fortier for his information and consideration.

Thank you again for writing.

Yours truly,

The Honourable Rob Nicholson

c.c.: Senator the Honourable Michael Fortier, P.C.
Minister of International Trade


Please check back soon for further replies!

Our April e-mail to Justice Minister Nicholson and MP Cullen:

Quote:
Yes, Minister
The Complete Collection
DVD




Quote:
From: legal
To: Nichor@parl.gc.ca ; culler@parl.gc.ca
Cc: legal
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2008 3:35 PM
Subject: Re: Kahnawake Mohawks setting Canada's unwritten gambling rules


Hello Minister Nicholson and MP Cullen,

PokerPulse trackers were delighted to read a recent account in the corporate media http://pokerpulse.com/legal/viewtopic.php?p=541#541 of 'discussions' you're having in Ottawa regarding the possibility of regulating an online gambling industry here in Canada - one that might be open even to taxpaying Canadians with no history of armed stand-offs, weapons or cross-border smuggling. We were wondering, will Quebec Mohawks and one or two of the eastern racetracks continue to set unwritten Canadian gambling rules, or might 'interested others' like us be included among the 'stakeholders' in those discussions?

There are an AWFUL LOT of honest, law-abiding Canadians, including many sophisticated First Nations, who are tired of having our integrity mocked by the mighty Mohawks of eastern Canada who operate as Web hosts with impunity! How much of their remote gambling profits might Canadians reasonably look forward to in the way of disgorgement, one wonders? How much of MIT's profits to date would the Justice Department estimate as the proceeds of crime? Half? More? All? Could you or anyone else say truthfully that ANY of it was obtained legally? After all, there should be SOME penalty for the gamble they admittedly took. And if it happens as it should that Canada decides to open the market, what about the leg-up Mohawks will have acquired by virtue of flouting Canadian and U.S. laws? Because you've been asleep at the switch so long, these are now issues you'll have to include in those 'discussions'. It would also be a prudent federal government that resolves these matters before your U.S. counterparts take them into their own hands - and Treasury.

You're both right in thinking that Canada is going to have to take a position on Mohawks' illegal Web host activity. Why not be heroes and celebrate MIT's bold maverick initiative by making it openly legal for ALL of us to profit? Depending on our GATS obligations, Canada might even join our newest trading partner, Antigua, in challenging U.S. remote gambling prohibitions - make up some of our losses in the softwood lumber disaster. Europe's considering one, too. Just a thought.

Come on, Canada! Say Yes, Minister!

Earnestly,

L.M. Murray
Editor,
LegalAtPokerpulse.com
Tracking Internet gambling and gambling
law worldwide.

P.S.
Quote:
ANOTHER 'inconvenient truth':
Gambling online is better for the planet than travel to brick-and-mortar casinos!





Our e-mail to Quebec Public Safety Minister Dupuis:

Quote:
From: legal
To: ministre@msp.gouv.qc.ca
Cc: legal
Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2008 4:17 PM
Subject: Re: Quebec Provincial Discretion to Apply Federal Gambling Restrictions in Kahnawake


Hello Minister Dupuis:

The federal justice minister has advised me to seek your counsel regarding the extent of your discretion to apply (or not) federal gambling prohibitions in Kahnawake. (See enclosed e-mail of Aug. 13/08). According to the minister, "The general scheme of the gambling provisions of the Criminal Code is to prohibit all forms of gambling, except those specifically permitted by the Code. While Parliament enacts the gambling provisions found in the Code, the prosecution of these offences is the responsibility of the provincial attorneys general."

My questions are these:

1. Is there some provision at law granting that particular community an exclusive right to service for profit an unlimited array of remote gambling operations and to do so with full immunity from prosecution? If so, does that immunity extend to extradition obligations with the U.S., which has recently increased efforts to show how vigorously it opposes remote gambling operators' access to the U.S. market?

2. Am I correct to infer that the team recently appointed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) to investigate still more cheating allegations (see http://www.pokerpulse.com/legal/viewtopic.php?p=566#566) is indeed acting if not under your direct authority somehow in conjunction with your ministry?

3. Finally, in the event the KGC investigation reveals wrongdoing and there is subsequent disagreement between parties over compensation, would those parties have recourse to the ministry? If so, what would be the correct procedure in those circumstances?

Thanks in advance for your kind attention. I look forward to hearing from you.

L.M. Murray
Editor, LegalAtPokerPulse.com

Enclosure


Again, we'll post any replies we receive here. Please check back soon for updates!

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forbes
Magazine Subscription
Feds Hound Bodog
By Janet Novack and William P. Barrett
July 30/08


Quote:
View the IRS affidavit from the forfeiture lawsuit in Baltimore - and more of the same still to come.

Will Kahnawake Mohawks, to whom Ayre transferred Bodog ownership, be similarly targeted? Here in Canada, anyway, that's up to Quebec's public safety leader, federal justice minister tells PokerPulse.

More on MIT efforts to manage STILL ANOTHER cheating scandal.





Quote:
The U.S. government recently seized $24 million from bank accounts linked to Bodog, the giant, illegal-under-U.S.-law Internet gaming operation founded by Canadian tycoon Calvin Ayre.

Federal filings make very clear that a serious criminal investigation of the Bodog enterprise is ongoing. At a minimum, word of the seizures is likely to rattle the confidence of U.S.-based online gamblers that they will receive their winnings, not only from Bodog but from the industry's other remaining participants.

Detailed in court filings in a Baltimore federal court, the Bodog-related seizures from such well-known institutions as Wachovia (nyse: WB - news - people ), Bank of America (nyse: BAC - news - people ), SunTrust Banks (nyse: STI - news - people ) and Regions Bank, a unit of Regions Financial (nyse: RF - news - people ), increase the possibility of criminal action against Ayre himself. There already has been published speculation in his native Canada that he is under secret indictment somewhere in the U.S. The U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore, which launched the two lawsuits to take the $24 million, did not respond to a request for comment.

The flamboyant Ayre--media reports often call him a "playboy"--is now believed to be in Antigua and Barbuda, a country in the eastern Caribbean. He has denied being on the lam. A request on Wednesday for comment from Ayre, sent through the Web site of his Antigua-based Calvin Ayre Foundation, was not immediately returned. Nor were call and e-mail messages sent to public relations contacts listed on Bodog's Web site.

In early 2006 Ayre rocketed to international prominence--and the cover of Forbes magazine' annual issue on the world's billionaires--for his stewardship from Costa Rica of Bodog Entertainment Group and his open flouting of authorities in the U.S., his major market. The story headline: Catch Me If You Can. The operation was said at the time to be handling $7.3 billion yearly in poker, casino and sports event wagers.

But since then, Ayre has been the subject of law-enforcement raids abroad and growing regulatory scrutiny, especially in the U.S. In late 2006 President Bush signed a law strengthening the prohibition on online gambling. Ayre fell off the Forbes worldwide billionaires list after just one year, amid a decline in his industry's fortunes. ...

Ayre has been trying to put legal distance between himself and the operation he founded in the 1990s. For years its business was run through Internet servers belonging to Mohawk Internet Technologies, located on the Kahnawake Reserve Indian reservation in Quebec, Canada.

In September 2007 Bodog said its North American operations would be licensed to Morris Mohawk Group, also located on the reservation and run by tribal chief Alwyn Morris. Three months ago, Ayre, now 47, said he had transferred ownership of Bodog itself to Morris Mohawk Group. "It's true; I'm packing it in," Ayre wrote on a Web site. ... (emphasis added)

According to Carrow's detailed sworn statements, the IRS's Criminal Investigation Division started looking at Bodog in 2003 and opened a formal probe in 2006. ...

Even before the advent of Bodog, Ayre carried considerable baggage. Close family members were convicted of drug trafficking. (Ayer himself was never charged.) In 1996 Ayre was banned for 20 years from the British Columbia securities industry for stock market offenses. By that time, he was already moving into online gaming. "One of the things that drives me is the excitement that I could fail," he told Forbes in 2006. "What better buzz can you get?"


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