Last week's arrest of two former executives at NETeller, an online money transfer firm that does a lot of business with gambling sites, marked an expansion in the US government's aggressive war on online gambling. For the first time, it became clear that US law enforcement considered it a crime not just to be involved with one of these sites, but to be involved in a peripheral industry somehow related to online gambling. The Department of Justice appears to be going further down this road, as it's apparently started issuing subpoenas to investment banks that helped online gambling sites (many of whom are publicly traded in London) raise money. It's not clear yet what the purpose of the subpoenas is, and it's too early to guess whether or not the DOJ wants to pursue charges directly against the banks themselves. It's possible that they just want more information for help in prosecuting more cases against industry executives. But either way, it's a continuation of a disturbing trend, whereby legal activities, that may be related to illegal ones, come under fire.
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