|In America, the founders of a short-lived online gambling site who were extradited to another state to face charges of violating local and Federal laws have returned home on bond after surrendering to police and being arrested.|
The operators of Betcha.com, Nick Jenkins, Josie Imlay and Peter Abrahamsen, are back in Seattle after surrendering to police in the southern state of Louisiana earlier this week. A court date for the three to answer a felony charge of ‘illegal gambling by computer’ has been set for January 3.
Betcha.com was designed by the three to provide a forum for bettors to wager against one another on almost any topic, such as which actor would win an Academy Award, with individual gamblers receiving customer ratings based on payouts. Jenkins, who is also a lawyer, is arguing that, because bets were not guaranteed or backed by the site, Betcha.com was legal.
Prosecutors in Louisiana are claiming that Betcha.com violated its laws against Internet-based gambling and, following a decision by the Governor for the State of Washington, Christine Gregoire, to grant and extradition request, the three colleagues voluntarily flew to Louisiana and surrendered to State Police, who immediately arrested them. If convicted, the three could face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $20,000 each.
'We may challenge the statute down there, we many plea bargain or we may defend on the merits,' said Lee Rousso, a legal representative for the three. 'We just haven't decided which of those three or which combination thereof we will be doing.'