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Minnesota Takes a Hard Line Against Online Gambling

30 April, 2009,  Milton Shaw, Staff writer

It was reported in the Minnesota Star Tribune this morning that authorities are taking a hard line stance against online gambling. 

This stance has involved a letter from Minnesota's Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division of the Department of Public Safety sent to 11 national and regional telephone and ISP providers instructing them to block Minnesota resident access to over 200 online gambling sites. 

The list of recipients included AT&T Internet Services, Verizon Wireless and Embarq and Sprint/Nextel.  Which sites were included in the list was not revealed, nor was the intent from ISP's to comply with the demand. 

The Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division Director said that they are putting both operators and Minnesota online gamblers on notice that the activity will not be tolerated within Minnesota borders.  They acknowledged that they have no idea exactly how prevalent online gambling is by residents, but that reduced activity at terrestrial casino games at Canterbury Park in Shakopee suggested it could be widespread.

The letter cites a 1961 Federal law (probably the Wire Wager Act) as the legal grounds for the demand.  Spokespersons from AT&T and other recipients of the letter didn't comment beyond saying they were looking at the issue.

Never a dull moment in the world of online gambling.


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