|The Lake Worth-based Rosnet has a solution, has unveiled live streaming video of dog races and a betting interface to place wagers. Rosnet2000.com allows its 30,000 members to open wagering accounts and place bets on races via a link to US Off-Track, a Portland, Ore.-based simulcasting and wagering hub licensed by the Oregon Racing Commission. |
The 26-year old operator, which started off distributing racing and canine data to dog tracks, Rosnet has positioned itself to serve ‘mobile wagering fans,’ (bettors who lay bets at tracks from any location) is now raising eyebrows with Florida and U.S. statutes, which say the dog wagering is illegal.
‘In my estimation, the services we provide are legal. Actual wagers are made in Oregon and the software application that we provide bettors does not reside in Florida, but in individual computers,’ says Lesley O'Connell, President and CEO of Rosnet.
The federal government applies its Federal Interstate Wire Act to national questions of legality. Passed by Congress in 1961, the law only governs companies - not individuals - and prohibits the use of wire communications facilities to transmit bets or wagers and gambling information across state lines, which was originally applied to telephones, not to the Internet say critics of the legislation.
‘The racing industry has evolved, and we must keep up with [other] Internet gambling options. People want [continuous] access to racing information and it makes a wise choice for us to provide,’ says Deb Trickel, GM of US Off-track.
For instance, Florida has different laws governing the industry than some other states do, and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is against the practice altogether. ‘The laws governing Internet gambling are confusing, leaving people with different interpretations. But generally speaking, it is not legal in Florida,’ says Pat O'Brien, a Fort Lauderdale attorney.
With such ambiguity surrounding Internet gambling laws, Rosnet may have a safe haven for individual bettors and participating dog tracks such as the Palm Beach Kennel Club and Hollywood Greyhound Track.