UK banks caught up in gambling inquiry

Furthering their investigation into the online gaming industry, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has demanded evidence from companies in London that have had dealings with online gambling companies. Among those caught up in the inquiry include HSBC, JP Morgan, Investec and Deutsche Bank.

It has also been revealed that subpoenas were sent out to at least 16 banks as far back as October, just days after President Bush signed the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act. The DOJ is said to have instructed the companies to hand over all documents, e-mails and telephone records relating to online gambling companies.

Analysts speculate that the DOJ is targeting the individuals that founded the companies and anyone that has benefited from the industry, much like NETeller founders Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre who have been charged with money laundering and face a maximum 20 years in prison.

The move by the U.S has not gone down well with many in the UK, believing that the U.S is wrongly targeting firms out of desperation as they seek to step up their crackdown on internet gambling.

“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,” said Alan Duncan, Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary.  

As a result, shares in many online gambling companies fell. PartyGaming fell by nearly ten per cent and 888 was down by three per cent.

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2007-01-22 11:04:36




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