|Running a gambling Web site is illegal even though New Jersey has no law that expressly bans betting over the Internet, a Morris County judge ruled Tuesday. |
The decision upholds an indictment against a Belleville resident. The defense lawyer for Nicholas Drakos, 48, unsuccessfully tried to get Superior Court Judge Salem Vincent Ahto in Morristown to dismiss the indictment against his client, who is charged with promoting gambling, conspiracy to promote gambling and money laundering between January and April 2004.
Attorney Robert Dunn's argument was simple: The state Legislature has never specifically passed a law that labels Internet gambling as a crime. If Drakos hosted the Web site known as www.internationalnetcasino.com, and instructed bettors on how to set up accounts to place wagers on professional and collegiate sports events, he did so without knowing he was committing a crime, the lawyer maintained.
Simply because the Legislature has not gotten around to directly labeling Internet gambling as a crime does not mean it is lawful, the judge said'