The former CEO of Internet gaming outfit BetOnSports has been sentenced to 33 months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy.
David Carruthers' London-based business was shut down after federal investigators linked to illegal online gambling in the United States. BetOnSports took in $1.25 billion in bets in 2004, 98% of which came from the United States. Carruthers and other executives were indicted in 2006, and he was arrested in Dallas on his way back to Costa Rica after attending the company's annual meeting in London.
"I understand now that the business was operating outside the laws of the United States," Carruthers said in a prepared statement read to the judge at his sentencing.
I love the idea of the federal government cracking down on the evil specter of online gaming, even though 43 states currently offer lotteries.
It also seems likely that online gambling is far less regressive than the lottery because it requires the Internet and a bank account, two things that many of the low-income people preyed on by state lotteries don't have.
Carruthers' sentencing may be a victory for prosecutors, but it's a giant waste of resources for American taxpayers.