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Key UK Figures Question US Internet Gambling Probe

Law, 2007-01-21, by Ozone

As reported in this news article, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued subpoenas to several foreign banks seeking information related to illegal online gambling. Since light was shed on this situation, some important figures in the British political and business world are questioning the reach being employed by the DOJ.

Alan Duncan, the UK's Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary, said, "There is growing suspicion that the US Department of Justice is using its muscle in a highly unpleasant manner, and is targeting financial institutions beyond their own shores in a way that cannot be justified. I hope the Department will stop and review its approach so that its behaviour doesn't sour relations between us."

Online gaming firms PartyGaming and 888.com launched their IPOs on the London Stock Exchange in 2005. Some banks being called to release information assisted in helping these companies transition into public trading. Calling on the UK Government to intervene, an anonymous senior banking source said, "[The DOJ is] going after parties removed several steps from the business of gambling. To pursue say, an adviser on a float is frankly ridiculous. It is a straightforward case of the [UK] Government being responsible for setting and arranging sensible boundaries on what the US can request."

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