Crime Write Gambling Software, Go to Prison


The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host
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In a criminal case sure to make programmers nervous, a software maker who licenses a program used by online casinos and bookmakers overseas is being charged with promoting gambling in New York because authorities say his software was used by others for illegal betting in that state.

New York authorities say that about $2.3 million that Robert Stuart and his company, Extension Software, received in cash and money orders for licensing his software constitutes direct proceeds of illegal, U.S.-based bookmaking operations.

“These defendants abetted large-scale illegal gambling in the U.S. and abroad,” said District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. in a press release in October when Stuart was charged. “In doing so, they gave bettors an easy way to place illegal wagers, and created an appetite for further unlawful activity.”

But Stuart, who has been charged along with his wife and brother-in-law with one felony count for promoting gambling in New York through their software firm, says that his company sells the software only to entities outside the U.S. and that he’s not aware of anyone using it in the U.S. or using it to take illegal bets in the U.S. He also says the software doesn’t place bets, it simply provides online gambling sites with the infrastructure to select and display which sporting events they want to offer for betting and also stores the bets.

Read more here.


So many apples
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What are unlawful bets? Bets are there to have fun by risking something. Why shouldn't one be able to wager on their own responsibility? I mean, after all, all bet losses/winnings debts of honour, as far as I know. I do not consider tipping as betting, because you're doing business.


The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host
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You can read the top comment for this article below:

-jackschitt- said:
This whole thing is the definition of WTF.

The guy makes software for use outside the US, licenses that software for to companies that operate outside the US and serve customers that live outside the US, but is being charged with a crime in the US? Since when is it illegal for a US citizen to help legitimate European businesses conduct legitimate European business?

Talk about several degrees of separation. A client's client used the software to take bets from customers within the US. And they won't even tell him which client. (Doesn't that violate the whole thing about the right to know what you're being charged with, and the right to face your accuser?) People are using the "go after gun manufacturers" analogy, but it's even worse than that. It's like going after the gun manufacturer for making a gun, legally selling it to a citizen, who legally sells it to a citizen, who has his house robbed of his gun, then the guy who stole the gun uses it in a crime, and it's still the gun manufacturer's fault?!?!

Then they "offer" this guy a chance to plea to lesser crimes that he still didn't even commit in exchange for adding a backdoor to his own software (which, somewhat ironically, would have been a crime in almost every other country that his software was being used in) so they could gather information on European citizens conducting perfectly legal European activities, and they think they have the right to do this because those activities are illegal in the US? Talk about trying to be the world police.....

Seriously, as a proud American citizen I do have to say that the US really needs to stop thinking that their laws apply to the rest of the world. They also need to stop taking a machete to the rights of American citizens too, but that's a different story...

There's also the fact that there's a whole list of reasons why online gambling shouldn't be illegal in the first place. But again, that's a different story.

This whole thing makes me sick from top to bottom. The US is strongarming someone who doesn't have the resources to fight back in an effort to spy on both US and European citizens illegally while also trying to enforce their own laws on the rest of the world.
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