View Full Version : "Wall St. Bets on Gambling on the Web"- NYT Article

12-24-2005, 02:41 PM
"Wall St. Bets on Gambling on the Web"- NYT Article (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/25/business/25gamble.html?hp&ex=1135486800&en=4f279c3e79b0a6ba &ei=5094&partner=homepage)

The ownership rolls of offshore casinos read like a Who's Who of America's top investment firms. For example, public filings show that tens of millions of shares of SportingBet, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange that allows people to place bets on sporting events, are owned by Fidelity, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs.

Fidelity Management holds shares worth about $363 million, or 14.1 percent of the outstanding shares. Those shares are largely held in mutual funds. Merrill Lynch Asset Management has $164 million in holdings, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has $137 million.

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This is good.

12-24-2005, 08:05 PM
Best quote in the article.

Legal experts are divided over whether American investors and the investment houses that operate mutual funds could themselves be seen as criminally liable for their actions by providing financial backing for offshore casinos. To be sure, it is not uncommon for Americans to invest in overseas companies whose operations may be considered illegal or unacceptable here, from sweatshop manufacturers to European energy producers that do business in Iran.

The difference with Internet gambling is that the activity takes place on domestic shores - with Americans placing bets online using their home computers - and the Justice Department has stated clearly that the operators are violating American law.

Jaclyn Lesch, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, said that the agency considered online gambling illegal but declined to "comment on the liability or hypothetical liability of a company or an individual."

But Internet gambling analysts and company executives said that the investments highlight how widely the federal policy is, in essence, being ignored.

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