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AIDING AND ABETTING ONLINE GAMBLING BY PUBLISHING ADVERTISEMENTS: FEDERAL STATUTES

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May 13, 2006

I have prepared an extensive legal memorandum examining the likelihood that the federal government can sustain a conviction of a media outlet for aiding and abetting online sportsbooks, casinos or cardrooms under any of the three basic federal anti-gambling statutes: the Wire Wager Act, the Travel Act and the Illegal Gambling Business Act.

The conclusion I reach is that it is unlikely the federal government can successfully sustain an aiding and abetting charge against a media outlet for accepting and running such advertisements for websites if the media outlet only accepts compensation that does not lend itself to being characterized as the outlet’s participating in the underlying gambling activities. My conclusion is that it becomes less clear the closer that the form of compensation received by the media outlet brings it to relying on the success of the gambling activities in order to assure it of payment for the advertisements.

An appendix to the memorandum sets forth the fact patterns and holdings in many of the most prominent federal appellate aiding and abetting cases. The gravamen of these cases is that while the government need not show that the defendant participated in every phase of the criminal venture, it must show that the defendant was associated with the criminal venture, participated in it as something he wished to bring about, and sought by his action to make it succeed.

The full memorandum is available for purchase for personal use at a cost of $2,000.