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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

September 8, 2006

Online Crackdown Update

by Luckbox

For background on this story, please start here.

The arrest of Peter Dicks of SportingBet.com has opened a number of questions, some of which we won't get answers to until a trial, or perhaps never. I've tried to get the answers to some:

Why Louisiana?

Well, it seems the Louisiana State Police Gaming Enforcement Division decided their time was best spent gambling online. Louisiana State Police spokesman Dwight Robinette Jr. said, "Our troopers started taking bets (with Sportingbet) and creating an investigation on this company and Mr. Dicks." Louisiana is one of just 8 U.S. states that have specific laws against internet gambling.

Why St. Landry Parish?

That's a great question. St. Landry Parish is located in the Acadiana region of Louisiana in the Southwest part of the state. The largest city in St. Landry Parish is Opelousas. A city in which the police chief recently resigned under allegations that he defrauded the government. He's since been arrested on numerous charges. None of that, however, answers the question. All State Police spokesperson Lt. Lawrence McLeary would tell us is that that is the jurisdiction in which the crime was committed.

Who else has outstanding warrants against them?

That question won't be answered until the next executive is dumb enough to get off a plane in the United States. You can assume that if the State Police placed bets online at SportingBet.com, then they also visited other online sportsbooks. That means dozens of executives may have outstanding warrants. Normally, we'd know exactly who, but an unknown judge who signed off on the warrants also decided to seal them. We know from a conversation with the clerk of courts that a file exists. They're just not allowed to open it for us.

What's next?

Peter Dicks will likely be moved to Lousiana where he will face trial on the single charge of gambling by computer. The District Attorney's office tells us they have no information on the case because they have not yet begun to prepare it.

Will there be federal charges?

"This is a separate state case. I can't speculate if there will be federal charges, but there will be discussion," said Louisiana State Police spokesman Dwight Robinette Jr. This is the first example of an online gambling executive being arrested on state charges. Former BetOnSports PLC Chief Executive Officer David Carruthers was arrested on federal charges in July.

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