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Minnesota Authorities Online Gambling Hit List a Bit off The Mark

4 May,  2009,  Milton Shaw, Staff writer

It was revealed in the Minnesota Star Tribune last week that  authorities had sent a letter to 11 national and regional telephone and ISP providers instructing them to block Minnesota resident access to over 200 online gambling sites. 

The letter of demand came with a requirement for a  response within 3 weeks from the ISP's which they are no doubt feverishly working on.

But further consideration of the companies included in the 200 that need to be blocked reveals that the Department of Public Safety which has masterminded the initiative,  hasn't done its homework on the industry it is attempting to ban.  Either that or they are a little slow on the up take.  Reason being...many of the companies that they are requiring ISP's to block are not accepting bets from US residents anyway, policies that they have strictly been applying since UIGEA was enacted over 2 years ago.

Such companies include Titan Poker and CD Poker,  2 of the larger poker rooms running on Playtech Software which applied a blanket ban on US player accounts across all licensee casinos and poker rooms two years ago.  Ladbrokes Casino and Party Casino, two of the industry's biggest names and owned by London Stock Exchange Listed companies, are also on the list and are have also had a no US player policy in place since late 2006. 

In fact Party Gaming, which owns Party Casino just recently settled a well publicized case with the US Justice Department, guaranteeing them immunity from prosecution and opening the door for consideration for gaming licensees if and when the US repeals UIGEA.  The $105 million settlement was all of the papers and the buzz of the online gambling world for weeks just recently.  How Minnesota's  Department of Public Safety didn't know these guys aren't taking US payers is hard to imagine.

The above companies are the obvious examples of operators that have no place being on this list, but are not the only ones.  It has made the initiative look more like a half baked scheme not fully thought out and intended to intimidate rather than effectively achieve its intended purpose.

The targeted ISP's will be annoyed enough at the added burden being placed on their operations to comply with the blocking request being asked of them.  Finding out that a number of the 200 blocks they must put in place are unnecessary anyway has to rub salt into their wounds.


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