WEB GAMBLING FIGHT AN UPHILL BATTLE

WASHINGTON D.C. — As reported by the Wall Street Journal: “David Carruthers, a 46-year-old executive with thinning gray hair, is an unlikely outlaw.

”Recently, a wild moment for him was drinking a champagne toast in his banker’s office after his company went public on the Alternative Investment Market, a London stock exchange.

“Nonetheless, many U.S. lawmakers and regulators would like to shut down Carruthers’s London-based BetonSports, along with other operations that run Web gambling sites catering to Americans. Under the 1961 Federal Wire Act, betting on sports via telephone or the Internet is illegal in the U.S.

“But online gambling is legal in many other countries, and the U.S. can’t do much to prevent companies operating abroad from accepting wagers from U.S. citizens. As a result, a gigantic online gambling market has sprung up overseas.

“Last year, world-wide revenue from online gambling totaled $5.7 billion, and a majority of the gamblers were American, according to Christiansen Capital Advisors, a market-research firm.

“…Carruthers and many other Internet gambling executives are betting that the U.S. will eventually have to drop its online-gambling prohibition. …He also argues that ‘there’s a huge missed opportunity here’ to collect revenue.

“…So far, the U.S. government isn’t convinced. But that could change as the result of talks that will start this month between the tiny twin-island Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda and the U.S…”