Americas Watchdog Reports on the Involvement of U.S. Banks and Major U.S. Credit Card Issuers in Internet Gambling

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After a 10-month investigation into the slimy world of Internet "casinos or sports books", Americas Watchdog has discovered some of the biggest U.S. credit card/debit card issuers and U.S. banks continue to fund off-shore "casino" activities, even though Internet gambling is illegal for U.S. citizens. Just as bad, Americas Watchdog has discovered that an average U.S. citizen has a about a 1 in 10 chance of ever winning at an Internet casino. In the strongest terms possible Americas Watchdog is encouraging all U.S. citizens to avoid on line casinos or Internet gambling.

on line casino or sports book

After a 10-month investigation into the very slimy world of on line gambling and Internet casinos, Americas Watchdog has uncovered little to no compliance related to obeying any part of the legislation enacted by President Bush in October of 2006 (The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act). In other words, millions of U.S. citizens continue to be able to use their U.S. debit or credit cards in dozens if not hundreds of "off shore Internet casinos/sports books", even though this is against the law in the United States.

Americas Watchdog is extremely concerned that some of the largest U.S. credit card/debit card issuers, and most U.S. banks are still allowing millions of U.S. citizens payment access to "gambling sites or Internet casinos". Americas Watchdog, in the strongest terms possible, is advising all U.S. citizens to avoid "Internet casinos". According to Americas Watchdog, "it's one of the best ways to get cheated, and even worse, an unsuspecting consumer may be giving their identity to organized crime". Internet casinos have nothing to do with real casinos in Las Vegas and in the opinion of Americas Watchdog, "the games could be fixed with altered computer gambling programing." Translation: a U.S. consumer may have little to no chance of ever winning.

As part of its investigation, Americas Watchdog played a total of four major Internet casinos since November of 2006. These were "a U.K.-based casino (call center), a South Africa casino and two Antigua-based casino/sport books. All four casinos are offering "gaming-casino", "sport book services" or both to U.S. citizens. All four casinos were/are accepting "major credit card/debit card payments from major U.S. credit card/debit card issuers and U.S. banks". All four are operating in open violation of U.S. laws, according to Americas Watchdog.

In the rare occasion that there was a win, things were complicated relative to the payments. Payments received by Americas Watchdog included "checks" from a major U.S. bank and a major German bank or wire transfers. Americas Watchdog has provided the U.S. IRS copies of the checks and wire transfers and is now formally asking the United States Department of Justice for an aggressive investigation and indictments. Americas Watchdog is also formally demanding that all major U.S. credit/debit card issuers, and U.S. banks, cease and desist from allowing any U.S. citizen or resident to utilize their credit or debit cards in any transaction involving a "on line casino, sports book or any type Internet gambling".

In the opinion of Americas Watchdog, "off shore-on line casinos" or "casino operators" could be organized crime. In the instance of the U.K. casino, the owner openly bragged how they "beat some old lady from the U.S. out of $225,000 in December 2006". According to Americas Watchdog, the founder and President of one of the world's largest Internet casinos/sports books openly brags about the fact that he "pays no U.S. taxes", even though the vast majority of his players are U.S. citizens. Why the US Justice Department has not indicted this individual is a mystery. Given the current U.S. ban on Internet gambling, it is even a bigger mystery as to how or why major U.S.-based credit card companies and or U.S. banks continue to allow millions of U.S. citizens to wager funds in any Internet casino. It's illegal.

As for Antigua, and other offshore havens for Internet gambling, money laundering, drug smuggling or other crimes: Americas Watchdogs demands that the U.S. State Department embargo any destination that openly defies U.S. law. According to Americas Watchdog, "why just stand there as up to 15 million U.S. citizens lose their identifies to organized crime causing a financial disaster in the U.S., or millions of U.S. citizens simply go broke because they were cheated by an Internet casino"? "Let's see how important Internet gambling is to places like Antigua when U.S. tourists no longer support their economy."

According to Americas Watchdog, "U.S. prohibitions rarely work". According to the groups President, "what the U.S. Congress and the President should now do is amend current legislation that will continue to outlaw off-shore Internet gambling, but allow U.S. states like Nevada or Native American Gaming the ability to provide a regulated version to U.S. citizens, with a fee/tax split between participating individual states". At least this way the environment could be regulated and much safer for U.S. players. Americas Watchdog feels that this step must be taken before the out of control Internet gambling world really does get worse.

If a consumer has played in a "on line casino or sports book" and has copies of their "winnings" in the form of checks or wire transfers since November 2006, Americas Watchdog would like to inspect these documents. If a consumer feels like they were cheated or taken advantage of when playing at a Internet "casino or sports book", Americas Watchdog would welcome hearing from the consumer regarding their specific experience. If a former employee of a "Internet casino" has proof of intentional fraud, odds rigging, money laundering or deceptive gaming computer programs, etc, Americas Watchdog would like to learn more. Americas Watchdog intends to vigorously pursue illegal Internet gambling sites that offer services to U.S. citizens by cutting off their ability to receive money from U.S. citizens, U.S. banks and U.S. credit/debit card issuers. Americas Watchdog is all about consumer protection and corporate fair play. Consumers or individuals with specific information related to Internet gambling are welcome to contact Americas Watchdog at any time.

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THOMAS MARTIN
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