Forth Worth, Texas, is the center of attention for the entire online gambling world today. Operators, executives, investors, financial advisors anxiously wait the outcome of David Carruthers' detention hearing which will take place this morning in Forth Worth.
The DoJ wants David Carruthers to be extradited to Missouri. The DoJ is also requesting Mr. Carruthers to be denied bail. Carruthers was taken into custody by federal agents last Sunday in Dallas.
The British media alleged that the FBI used passenger's lists to intercept David Carruthers while he was switching planes in Dallas on his way from the U.K. to Costa Rica, where BETonSPORTS operations are headquartered.
Costa Rica Vice President Laura Chinchilla revealed yesterday to the Tico newspaper Al Dia that officers of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (GAFIC) informed the Costa Rican government of an imminent strike of the U.S. Department of Justice against Tico based businesses and their executives during a meeting held in San Jose last week.
Laura Chinchilla also told the newspaper that Costa Rica has no law that regulates the sports betting industry, therefore the government doesn't have legal means to intervene and assist the DoJ and its request to extradite the company's founder Gary Kaplan. The DoJ announced Monday that an arrest warrant had been issued against Kaplan. Interpol Costa Rica told Al Dia that as of Wednesday they had not been notified of the arrest warrant.
BETonSPORTS has not been releasing any public statement after the one of last Wednesday in which the company denied ongoing negotiations with the DoJ. Costa Rica media has been keeping BETonSPORTS headquarters in Mall San Pedro under siege in vain. All mouths are shut.
Wednesday BETonSPORTS asked its advertisers to put off all marketing campaigns for 48/72 hours. "We will be back soon" is the only explanation advertisers were given. Later today they will learn how soon.
"Instead of hassling offshore gambling CEOs at airports, the feds should legalize online betting," the LA Times yesterday's editorial suggested. "There's a far more effective way to bring Internet gaming within reach of Uncle Sam: Legalize it."
"Maybe enough senators still believe in liberty and free trade to defeat this bill. And maybe the FBI has more pressing tasks than scouring tarmacs for the expatriate enablers of victimless acts." The editorial concluded.
Meanwhile U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist aides entertained the press by releasing contradictory statements on the fate of the bill to ban Internet gambling.
The bill will not come up for a vote before the chamber takes its August recess, one aide first said.
"We are trying to get something done before the August 4 recess," Eric Ueland, Frist's chief of staff, later rectified.
Meanwhile BetWWTS, another prominent sports betting operation that was also Indicted by the DoJ on May 16 2006, informed its customers that effective tomorrow the company will no longer accept bets via phone.