Aiding and Betting: Online Gambling Crackdown
Sullum, Jacob, Reason
IF YOU LIKE to gamble, you might want to go to 888.com, where you can play blackjack, poker, craps, slots, and roulette. If you prefer sports betting, try betonsports.com.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, publishing the previous paragraph may be a felony. Federal prosecutors say helping Americans find online casinos or sports betting operations could amount to "aiding and abetting" illegal gambling, a crime punishable by up to two years in prison.
Last year, Deputy Assistant Attorney General John G. Malcolm sent a letter to media trade groups warning that their members could be breaking the law by accepting ads for gambling sites. Meanwhile, Raymond W. Gruender, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, convened a grand jury in St. Louis that started issuing subpoenas to companies that do business with the online gambling industry.
This campaign of intimidation already has yielded results. Since last fall several media companies, including infinity Broadcasting, Viacom Outdoor, Discovery Networks, and Clear Channel Communications, have stopped running ads for online casinos and betting services. In April, Google and Yahoo! …