Ah, unintended consequences. This past summer, US authorities arrested David Carruthers, CEO of online betting site BetOnSports, kicking off their latest round of anti-online gambling attempts, leading Carruthers to be fired and the company to stop doing business with US players -- effectively knocking out most of the company's business. Over at The Register, attorney Burke Hansen, explains how this has ended up hurting the American customers of the site a lot more than if they were just allowed to keep gambling. He points out that BetOnSports was quite well respected in the space, and was never known to have problems paying players the money they had won. However, with the company agreeing to settle the lawsuit against it, the courts are trying to get the money out of BetOnSports' bank accounts, which happen to be in Antigua. Antigua, of course, is in the middle of a nasty dispute with the US over (look at that!) the legality of online gambling -- so Antigua officials have filed an injunction to keep the US from taking money out of BetOnSports' Antigua bank accounts. Antigua doesn't want all that money going to the US, especially after the US has repeatedly ignored demands of the WTO on online gambling concerning whether or not Antigua-based online casinos are legal in the US. What that all means is that American players who had money in BetOnSports accounts are unable to get it. Back before the US shut them down, of course, players could easily get their winnings out (if they had any). So, it's only after the US stepped in, officially to "protect" these players, that those players found their money no longer available to them. Nice work.
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