Wed, Dec 17th 2008 10:56am
One of the founders of British online gambling site PartyGaming yesterday pleaded guilty to a charge of transmitting bets across state lines -- and agreed to pay the US government $300 million. The exec, Anurag Dikshit, wasn't one of those nabbed by US authorities as they changed planes in the US, but rather he came forward on his own in an attempt to clear the legal air surrounding him and his company. It appears that the US government has rewarded him with leniency: he's free on $15 million bond with some loose travel restrictions ahead of his sentencing -- scheduled for December 2010. This latest news follows the guilty plea of an executive of NETeller, which processed payments for gambling sites, who forfeited $100 million to the government, while the company itself coughed up $136 million. So from these three instances alone, the government has taxed, er, fined, gaming sites and execs over half a billion dollars. If revenue generation is the goal, why not simply legalize online gambling, then regulate and tax it? That way, the government gets its slice, while US citizens can enjoy some protection while betting, instead of being forced into the grey market where they're largely at the whim of site owners.
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