Playing at Internet casinos is licensed in more than eighty countries all over the world, however in the United States, it is still regarded as an illegal activity, although nearly 80 per cent of all Internet casinos gamblers play from the United States. That’s why nearly all Internet casinos, based their transactions offshore, which makes it more difficult for the American Justice Department to ‘catch’ them. In spite of the fact that these offshore Internet casinos fall outside the American regulations, it is still not legal for them to advertise in American media.
This does not seem to prevent a lot of Internet casinos from constant attempts to run their adverts in American magazines and newspapers. The United States is trying to prevent this from taking place by forcing the magazines to realize that they are taking part in the illegal activities of the Internet casinos if they place any advertisements, which makes them responsible and liable for penalty.
To give a good example, the US Justice Department, made a decision about penalizing the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen. It leaked in the press that Allen’s Sporting News, made a $7.2 million agreement with the feds to be able to promote offshore Internet casinos by running advertisements in its magazine, radio network and website. The Justice Department informed that this agreement ran for three years. In the dubious settlement, Sporting News did not admitted or denied to be legally liable.
The American Attorney’s office in St. Louis, Missouri, has been endeavoring to win the fight against the advert of Internet casinos in the United States for the last few years, with some tiny successes. In June 2003, The Justice Department dispatched letters to individual magazines together with a letter to the Magazine Publishers of America, reminding them that publishing adverts of Internet casinos is against the law. This action was sensibly effective, and various media companies became worried, and ceased advertising.
Sporting News is not the first media company that has been seriously scrutinized on grounds of publishing illicit adverts of Internet casinos, however it is the first magazine that was punished on these grounds. On Thursday, the Sporting News paid a $4.2 million fine and will make up for the further 3 million dollars with a three-year series of public service adverts.
A unit of Hearst, Esquire, puts a lot of adverts of offshore Internet casinos in April, May and June last year. Nevertheless, after the pressure of the FBI, Esquire decided to quit running any more adverts. Another media company that ran advertisements for Internet casinos for a while is Trader Monthly. The spokesman of the US Attorney’s office did not acknowledge or deny whether there were any other media companies being inspected.
Esquire spokesman informed that the company is no longer under the scrutiny, due to the fact that it run any advertisements of Internet casinos, since last June.
The US Attorney Catherine Hanaway from St. Louis, is convinced that the media companies that carry on placing adverts of Internet casinos, in spite of the illegality of the issue, have to be taught a lesson.