On Saturday night I attended a function that included several dozen Americans of the same age group as the GI's. They are part of an army encamped in Costa Rica openly flaunting the laws of the US and prospering for doing so.
They arrived at the function in sharp contrast in manner and dress when compared to the elegantly dressed Costa Ricans. To the Costa Ricans, this is the face of the Americans they see and hear throughout the restaurants and clubs of San Jose.
This army, of several thousand, is involved with on-line sports betting, money laundering, tax evasion, conspiracy to evade the laws of the United States. Smug, arrogant and unfettered by the touch of US laws, they live the good life. Why are they getting away with it? The laws are all there and some have been so for some time. They include:
Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006,
Statutory Instruments and State Laws:
"Wire Wager Act," Title 18, United States Code, Section 1084(a) provides that:
The Prohibition of Illegal Gambling Businesses Act 1955
Section 1952 of Title 18, United States Code, which is also referred to as the Travel Act, also proscribes interstate gambling activity by stating:
''... the use of any facility in interstate or foreign commerce, including the mail, with intent to (1) distribute the records of any unlawful activity ... or (3) otherwise promote, manage, establish carry on or facilitate the promotion, management, establishment or carrying on, of any unlawful activity ... shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years or both.''
The Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 was signed into law by President Richard Nixon. It prohibits the creation or management of a gambling organization involving 5 or more people, if it has been in business more than 30 days or accumulates $2000 in gross revenue in a single day. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a United States federal law which provides for extended penalties for criminal acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. RICO was enacted by section 901(a) of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, Pub. L. No. 91-452, 84 Stat. 922 (15 October 1970). RICO is codified as Chapter 96 of Title 18 of the United States Code, 18 U.S.C. § 1961 through 18 U.S.C. § 1968.
'US probe' knocks gaming shares BBC
Millions have already been wiped off the value of internet gaming firms
Shares in online gaming firms have tumbled again - amid reports the US Department of Justice is stepping up its probe into the industry.
It has demanded that investment banks hand over documents and details of phone calls connected with internet gaming firms, reports say.
Partygaming shares fell 7.5% in early Monday trading while Sportingbet and 888.com lost about 3.5%.
Online gambling was effectively banned in the US last year.
Legislation was introduced that outlawed financial transactions related to gaming.
Reports on Sunday said that the Department of Justice had ordered 16 banks, including HSBC, Dresdner Kleinwort and Deutsche Bank, as well as accountants and law firms to pass on information.
In July last year, executives from online gaming firms, including Sportingbet and Betonsports were detained by US authorities.
Last week, two founders of internet payment firm Neteller, which has been used by gaming sites, were charged with handling billions of dollars in illegal gambling proceeds.
Millions were wiped off the value of internet gaming firms last year as they ceased US trading.
Before the US crackdown on internet gaming, Partygaming had generated about 75% of its income from the US market while about half of 888 Holding's business came from the country.