Leading Gambling

Man pleads guilty to leading gambling ring

Fort Myers-AP — A southwest Florida man accused of setting up and running a sports gambling ring that bilked clients of 20 (m) million dollars is now agreeing to plead guilty.

Investigators say John J- Rodney Junior of Estero started Player’s Edge Incorporated in 1993 and spent more than a decade with the company. He has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to violate the Wire Wager Act, operating an illegal gambling business and conducting a prohibited monetary transaction.

Rodney also has to give up more than 1-point-38 (m) million dollars, his Mercedes and a five-bedroom home worth more than a half (m) million dollars. As part of the deal, federal officials say they will recommend less than the maximum 15 years in prison.

A defense attorney says Rodney now works for an air conditioning company, but plans to move his family to North Carolina.

Electronic Arts to Stop Advertising for Online Casinos on Its Web Site

SAN FRANCISCO, June 11 – Electronic Arts, the video game giant, said Friday that it had decided to stop running advertisements for Internet casinos on its Web site, delivering another blow to the online gambling industry.

The decision, which the company said would take effect soon, follows similar announcements in recent months by Google and Yahoo, the Internet titans, and some media companies like Discovery Networks and Clear Channel Communications, which said they stopped taking advertisements for online casinos that offer sports betting, virtual poker and other games.

Those moves follow a federal investigation into the activities of American companies that do business with offshore Internet casinos. The Justice Department has argued that such companies might be “aiding and abetting” the casinos, which are seen by the department as illegal operations under federal law.

This week, Electronic Arts informed Forward Slash, a South Africa-based company, that it would no longer run ads for its online casinos on an Electronic Arts Web site, which lets visitors play interactive games without charge.

U.K. government to limit expansion of gambling

Gaming analysts say the latest reforms in Great Britain’s gambling regulations will make opportunities less attractive to most U.S. operators and equipment companies.

A British government agency today said it concurs on 121 of 139 reform recommendations outlined in a scrutiny committee report on a draft gambling bill issued in April.

While the concurrence on the legislation by the United Kingdom government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sports would likely put the bill on a fast track to passage by the British Parliament, gaming analysts concurred that it limits some opportunities for American operators.

A Las Vegas company doesn’t see it that way and says today’s developments complement its strategy with British partners.