Online Gambling Site Goes Public, As US Hints It Might Arrest The Founders

from the you're-rich,-stay-out dept

The talk of the IPO world recently has been the story of the online gambling site that’s about to go public, linking the resurgent dot com bubble with the new online poker bubble. While the company had to raise less than it hoped, the founders are still filthy stinking rich at this point. Of course, with all that money, they may not be able to travel to the United States. Thanks to the US’s crusade against anything associated with online gambling, US officials are hinting that the founders of this company risk being arrested if they come to the US — where (uh oh) 80% to 90% of the company’s customers reside. There’s a fine legal line, of course, and the founders insist that poker falls on the safe side of that line — a theory that has some support, since most US laws seem to ban games of chance, not betting on games of skill. Either way, it certainly sounds like 80 to 90% of the company’s customers and its founders are in a quasi-gray area of the law — which might explain why some investors shied away. That, and the fact that the company is going public in London, despite being based in Gibraltar, having most of its business in the US and most of its staff in India. On top of all that, since the company is raking in so much money, it seems pretty clear that they’re not going public to raise investment money, but so that the founders can cash out. Who is actually buying into this stock? Welcome to the IPO bubble 2.0.

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