from the hello-loophole dept
The state of Washington not only disagreed, it took a month or so until state authorities raided the company, arrested its founders and seized its computers. That seems pretty extreme for what does seem to be a rather open question in the law. And, in fact, a state appeals court found that the Betcha founder is right: the presence of the renege button means that the site is not a gambling site:
"Accordingly, there is nothing risked, which is the essence of both the common law and statutory definition of 'gambling.'"Of course, that doesn't mean Betcha is coming back into existence. Since its founder (who has a law degree and had carefully researched gambling laws to make sure the loophole was legit) was arrested, thrown in jail, extradited to Louisiana, charged (in Louisiana) with gambling-related felonies finally forcing him to negotiate a plea bargain, dropping the charges if he agreed to certain conditions. With that experience in mind, restarting the site and risking it happening again just doesn't seem that appealing.
So, way to go Washington State -- you tossed a guy in jail for a completely legal web business.