back to article Gambling boss gets three years

David Carruthers, the former chief executive of Betonsports, was sentenced to 33 months' prison time last week. Carruthers, a British citizen, was arrested in Dallas in 2006 while changing planes on his way to Costa Rica, where the business was based. His arrest pre-dated the passage of US laws to ban online gambling - tacked …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    >Both the conviction of, and sentence handed down against Mr. Carruthers should send a message to any foreign business conducting illegal activities in the United States, that geography does not render it untouchable.

    And you can tell that to Osama Bin Laden when you find him.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Team America - World Police


  3. Dick Emery

    Yes because

    The USA is the world police right?


  4. ShaggyDoggy

    Both ways

    I expect this doesn't work both ways.

    So there will be no rush of US executives being prosecuted in non-US courts.


  5. Steven Perez

    Private Jet

    He should have bought a private jet with his gambling money. One day the USA will look back and wonder what they were thinking when they pissed on the rest of the world.

  6. Andus McCoatover

    I'm obviously missing something...

    British citizen, business in Puerto Rico? "Offence" predated the law?

    erm... help me out, someone (I can tell you which way I came in) but.........I just don't get it.

    Is this the US 'world police' in action yet again?

  7. Alpha Tony


    So can we presume then that if a Chinese citizen accesses a site run from the US that calls for the emancipation of Tibet that the US will have no problem with China snatching the site's owners if they ever travel through a country friendly to them, siezing their assets and sending them to a labour camp?

    Or how about if I visit a US site that hosts S&M movies that are perfectly legal there, but illegal under our new extreme porn legislation? I assume that Mr Obama would agree that rather than prosecuting me, we should extradite the US site's owners and charge them in the UK?

  8. Anonymous Coward


    Laws that are retrospective? Not good. I guess that there is no clash of vested interest in this one. American gambling, Mafia, don't like competition?

    btw Puerto Rico is an American colony. every attempt by the Islanders to declare true independence has been brutally crushed.

    Each and every day I see such greed and corruption in the USA & UK, that I think its time both countries had a revolution and clear out (wall, post, bullets) of the Politicians and legal bodies.

    1. Ned Fowden


      while i'm in agreement about the revolution thing (democracy doesn't work ok), i don't understand the reference to Puerto Rico ... the story mentions Costa Rica (being the base of ops for betonsports) who as far as i'm aware aren't a colony of USA.

      1. Andus McCoatover

        Costa Rica

        My mistake. I was googling for more, and "Puerto Rico" must've popped up and somehow stuck in my head. Sorry. I stand corrected.

      2. Charlie 2

        We are NOT a democracy.

        [quote](democracy doesn't work ok)[/quote]

        Why is it that so many folks mistakenly refer to the U.S. as a "democracy"? The U.S. is a Republic and guarantees every state a republican form of government as spelled out in Article 3 section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. I fact, I understand the word "democracy" is not even mentioned in the Constitution.

        In fact, in a democracy "mob" rules. If even the slightest majority were to vote into law that everyone should stop what they are doing several time a day, face Mecca and give praise to Allah, that would be law and of course with law comes consequences for failing to obey, in this case religious persecution. We may even return to such things as burning or drowning persons accused of witch craft or banishing persons accused of adultery or pre-marital sex. Need more be said?

        While I too am guilty of ignorance and no doubt speaking from ignorance at times, I believe we should all strive to do our homework before trying to effect an authoritative change. What I consider a good point in case is a spoof once carried out by Pen and Teller. See or

  9. Richard 120
    Black Helicopters

    Bugger, nowhere is safe

    Crap, I'm screwed, I might have broken a law that hasn't been written in the USA yet, and as Gary McKinnon has proved, not actually being in America doesn't help.

  10. James Condron

    Wait a minute....

    If I get this fully, then whilst Carruthers isn't a US citizen and his business wasn't based in the states, because Americans were able to use betonsports, he is culpable? That doesn't really make any sense at all; I must admit I'm a little surprised there isn't more attention here from the Government.... retrospective laws must be against the law ;)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Free trade when it only benefits the US

    Hey, it's OK when our internet giants are taking over the world.

    But we can't allow those dirty foreigners from taking our money! They're probably terrorists.

  12. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Wait a minute...

    Just arrest any americans arriving at heathrow for driving on the wrong side of the road while in America.

    Waiting for the first American owner of an off-license to be arrested in an Arab country.

  13. emb


    All this talk of applying laws retrospectively is unfounded. The "new" law passed alongside the Safe Ports act was the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and merely put measures in place to help enforce existing laws that made some (if not all) internet gambling illegal in the US.


    1. Richard 120


      How is that actually different?

      Person 1

      I'm outside the US, their law doesn't apply to me.

      Person 2

      I'm outside the US, they can't enforce that law on me even though I'm apparently breaking it, not really sure why their law applies to me.

      US changes law resulting in Person 1 & Person 2 getting arrested.

      Suppose the UK decide to enforce their extreme (or just the ordinarey non-extreme?) pornography laws to the extent the US has applied their anti gambling laws.

      Will the porn barons who may holiday in the UK get arrested on arrival?

      The rules are different in each country, go the Australian way and have "The Great Firewall" to block stuff in other countries your govt. thinks is bad (or is losing them revenue) either that or go the UK way of prosecuting the customer rather than the purveyor.

      1. Charlie 2

        "How is that actually different?"

        Suppose someone lobs at us a missile that kills Americans on American soil and we know who committed that dastardly deed. Then later, to our knowledge, that person steps onto U.S. soil. Then what?

  14. Stratman


    Shouldn't the people in the dock actually be America's interweb overlords for allowing internal access to what the civilised world accepts as normal?

    If China can block 'unsuitable content, surely it's not beyond Nanny Sam's capabilities?

  15. Maty

    Did the US Attourney general

    ...say anything about his own country's activities being in violation of world trade rules on internet gambling? The US is big on international law - when it suits.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Utter bankers

    Actually the onus is on the yank banks, not the net overlords, to block payments to these opportunistic enterprises. Who up for a lynching?

  17. Graham Marsden

    "the conviction of, and sentence handed down..."

    "... should send a message to any foreign business conducting illegal activities in the United States, that geography does not render it untouchable.”

    Meanwhile US Businesses can keep on doing what the fuck they like because if it happens abroad it's not the USA's problem...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      if it happens abroad

      You mean like in the Bhopal tragedy and many American owned chemical plants in south America that do not have the same pollution controls as the same plants do in the US leading to entire communites being poisoned?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Typical America

    When you think of Americans try to imagine insane monkeys holding live grenades.

    Amusing to look at from behind the bars but you dont ever want to be in the same room as them!

    They have a very twisted view of the world thanks to biased Media and a 100% totally completely corrupt goverment.

  19. Eddy Ito

    retrospective? who cares

    It depends on what the meaning of "is" is. Clinton proved that when he signed retroactive taxes into law. Oh sorry, plan on not being screwed by the U.S. Gubbermint? Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!

  20. Martin Nicholls
    Big Brother


    "British citizen, business in Puerto Rico? "Offence" predated the law? erm... help me out, someone (I can tell you which way I came in) but.........I just don't get it"

    If I recall correctly they charged the guy with wire fraud. And yes it had nothing to do with the US and the government needs to DEMAND his release 5 years ago.

    "I expect this doesn't work both ways. So there will be no rush of US executives being prosecuted in non-US courts"

    Sure it does.. they have to end up in whatever country is involved somehow first...

    We came this close to having a foreign diplomat prosecuted here, which shouldn't happen at all under any circumstances technically, so how hard do you think it would be to charge the CEO of citigroup with fraud or something if you really wanted to?

  21. Asgard
    Big Brother

    We are your master now

    "any foreign business conducting illegal activities in the United States, that geography does not render it untouchable.”

    What so everyone's activities via the Internet are activities in the United States? ... WTF... and so they are going to come after anyone they like, as geography does not render it untouchable!? ... WTF!

    By that logic whatever any of us say could be seen as wrong and punishable by them. Who put them in charge over the entire planet.

    No foreign government can claim power over us and last time I checked, they don't let me vote in their country to choose who rules over us!

    As for this whole case of going after Internet gambling, its total BS, as the US allows gambling, its just as usual, they don't want American money going out of America. Much better to keep that money in America via the American gambling multi-billion per year industry. I wonder how many back handers it cost the American gambling industry to buy this legal action against their over seas competitors. Small price to pay for all the money it'll earn them. Meanwhile the world is subjugated by this profoundly arrogant almost sociopathic attitude that everyone world wide is now ruled by America!.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    This "law" has two faces!

    This is government for the government by the government. Why is it that if I were to get caught gambling I would go to jail when U.S. state and Federal governments are allowed to run some of the worlds largest numbers game right out in the open and get away with it? And then government turns right around and spends other peoples' money to "help" folks with gambling problems often caused by those vary numbers games. For this and the many other cock-a-mamey actions of today’s government, government may sooner or later find that it again has a revolution on its dirty hands. In fact, for some years now, some states have been entertaining the idea if seceding for the U.S.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Justice? Secession? You must be joking!

    "In fact, for some years now, some states have been entertaining the idea if seceding for the U.S."

    The last time any states tried that the remaining states declared war on them and a lot of lives were lost over a lot of years. A state has no right to secede. And no man or woman has any right to justice if someone who makes big enough contributions to "campaign funds" or oils the right bureaucratic wheels adequately asks for persecution of that man or woman. Allowing someone other than a member of the establishment any rights is just not permissable, whatever the now worthless documents put together by the founding fathers attempted to do.

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