internet gambling

The SBI's probe of Internet gambling corruption on the horizon

And the stakes are considerable:

The case raises clear concerns about pay-to-play politics, but there are significant other issues. One involved contributions from Chase E. Burns of Oklahoma, owner of a company that developed software for the sweepstakes machines. Burns paid $274,000 in campaign donations to North Carolina candidates and party committees from a trust fund filled with $5 million transferred from his company, International Internet Technologies. Burns’ contributions may have violated laws against direct corporate contributions to candidates, and the money itself was tainted by illegal gambling. Burns was indicted in Florida on racketeering charges and pleaded no contest to a lesser charge.

And once again, the N&O failed to mention the SBI has been moved from the Attorney General's office to answering directly to the Governor. Have McCrory's recent diatribes about being persecuted by the media forced the editorial board into being more circumspect? That conflict of interest is not imaginary, it's very real, and ignoring that conflict won't make it go away. Our Governor has demonstrated a severe lack of understanding when it comes to ethical considerations, and he needs to be put on notice that trying to influence the SBI's investigation results will land him in more hot water.

Republicans trying to legalize sweepstakes cafes

Because squeezing money out of the poor is good business:


Department–Department of Commerce

License Required. – No electronic sweepstakes establishment may operate without a valid license issued by the Department in accordance with this Part. Electronic sweepstakes devices may only be operated in a licensed electronic sweepstakes establishment.

Read the bill. The NCGA has set its sights on taxing the crap out of this (currently illegal) enterprise, and is even requiring machines to have the industry's own lie "This Is Not Gambling" displayed prominently on the screen. The GOP is beyond "out-of-control," they've gone bat-shit crazy.

Bob Hall pushes for further investigation of sweepstakes corruption

But the system may be too subverted to take on the job:

“The report doesn’t connect the dots to all the money that changed hands,” Hall said Wednesday. “The DA and U.S. attorney have additional tools to investigate bribery, tax evasion, racketeering and public corruption. They need to use those tools for this case, as they have in the past.” Freeman said among her options is asking the State Bureau of Investigation to look into it further.

The SBI began looking into campaign donations from the video sweepstakes industry early last year, but by July, when the elections board report was made public, the agency said the case was closed. Freeman said she didn’t anticipate taking the matter to a grand jury without further investigation.

I find it interesting the SBI has the capacity to create blood-splatter evidence when it wants to railroad an innocent man straight to death row, but they can't follow a well-lit trail of illegal gambling proceeds without giving up and heading back home. Maybe because that trail was leading to their boss in the Governor's mansion:

Goolsby will lobby for illegal sweepstakes industry


A marriage made in hell:

According to N.C. Secretary of State filings, the Small Business Coalition was incorporated in February by Gardner Payne, a Charlotte attorney and lobbyist who once faced criminal gambling charges for sweepstakes machines he operated in Duplin County. The charges were later dismissed.

The news release about Goolsby’s new role said that Rep. Harry Warren, a Salisbury Republican, plans to file legislation this session to legalize sweepstakes.

Apparently swindling people out of their money can be habit-forming.

No jail likely for South Carolina Internet gambling kingpins

Just like banksters, if you steal enough money, you earn your get out of jail free card:

A forensic analysis by agents with the U.S. Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service estimated that over the years Mosley's operations yielded proceeds totaling more than $242 million. Mosely and Caldwell used some of the gambling money to buy secluded lakefront homes in South Carolina, as well as planes, and luxury cars, including a Maserati, documents said.

As part of their plea agreements, Mosely and Caldwell agreed to forfeit $20 million and to cease Frontier's operations in South Carolina. Federal prosecutors, though, allowed them to keep their homes, cars and other property in exchange for the guilty pleas. Mosley will also forfeit hundreds of video poker machines.

And yet, if some teenager is caught with a $15 bag of pot in his car, or even just a roach in his ashtray, there's a good chance that car will be confiscated and sold at a police auction. The dissonance in our criminal justice system is astounding.

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