| Glenn Richardson, founder of MainstreetAuctions.com, is hoping for a big win from his latest business bet – online-gambling kiosks. Stakes are high that the risk taker could face legal opposition or prosecution. |
Richardson has founded a business called Kiosk Systems Inc. with Internet kiosks in a dozen businesses such as sports bars, laundromats, medical waiting rooms and coffee shops. Users pay a nominal fee per minute and can visit any site (except blocked pornography pages). However, access is free for two particular gambling sites. The sites provide online solitaire games and trivia channels, but players also can participate in rounds of blackjack where they could win, or lose, real money.
Richardson said he is aware lawnmakers are likely to scrutinize his business. Most forms of gambling are illegal in Arizona, including online betting, and efforts to prevent it nationally are under way. But Richardson maintains he is doing nothing illegal. He doesn’t own the casinos or have a stake in them. He said he is just selling Internet access time where users can visit any site, including the advertised gambling pages.
Gail Thackeray, special counsel for technology crimes, said it is illegal to accept benefits from online gambling such as salary or business revenue ; to furnish a device and to assist in the organization or supervision of gambling.