|As reported by I Nelson Rose on the GamblingAndTheLaw.com website, three Internet gambling sites have been sued by the New Jersey Attorney General’s divisions of Gaming Enforcement and Consumer affairs. |
The allegations against the sites include a range of violations of NJ’s gambling legislation, including: breaching the ban on gambling, the “unconscionable commercial practice” of advertising to minors with an “improper or unreliable age verification and/or no method to prevent underage gambling.'
What sparked the NJ authorities into action, however, was billboard advertising: Billboards advertising the casinos were posted facing Atlantic City’s licensed casinos. An unusual aspect of the lawsuit is that it does not name two of the three defendants: they are listed as John and Jane Doe, the operators of Sultans, “who are unknown to the Plaintiff at this time.” Bob Fountain – resident in South Africa - is also named as a defendant.
A press release from the Attorney General’s office declared, 'During the investigation, companies providing billboard advertising to AlohaCasino.com, RoyalClubCasino.com, and 7Sultans.com were contacted by the State. The billboards were subsequently removed.'
Internet gambling is not explicitly prohibited in New Jersey (as is the case in most US states), but cases such as this are rare. It is thought that the proximity to (legal) casinos in Atlantic City is what forced the Attorney General’s hand to prosecute. The complaint reads: “a billboard on Schiff's Central Pier, 1400-14 Boardwalk, across from St. James Place, Atlantic City, New Jersey, advertised Sultans' illegal activity. Anyone walking east on the Boardwalk could easily view this billboard.' It is implicit in this wording that anyone viewing these billboards is either going to or coming from the casinos.