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Author Topic: gambling for bitcoins: is there any legal precedent?  (Read 3698 times)
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July 26, 2011, 05:55:33 PM
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Suppose I make a site where users gamble their bitcoins. Suppose it gets popular. Should I go ahead and get hosting outside of the US? What exactly do gambling laws say about virtual currencies?
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BillX
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July 26, 2011, 05:57:46 PM
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You need to speak to an attorney. Don't be stupid and take legal advice forum an online forum.
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July 26, 2011, 06:04:50 PM
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Why would he speak to attorney? To get fleeced?

Send a letter to your State AG and The US AG and ask what their legal position is.
I'm sure they won't claim an interest until you convert into gov't issued currency.
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July 26, 2011, 06:09:02 PM
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SecondLife used to have in-world casinos that let you gamble using SecondLife's currency. They eventually had to ban that, because there was an obvious link between exchanging USD for SLL and back, just to gamble. Though the issue there could have been that all of SecondLife's servers are residing within US territories, or that SecondLife SLL currency is still minted and owned by a US corporation.

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July 26, 2011, 06:10:19 PM
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Why would he speak to attorney? To get fleeced?

Send a letter to your State AG and The US AG and ask what their legal position is.
I'm sure they won't claim an interest until you convert into gov't issued currency.
I would much rather be "fleeced" then fined or jailed before starting a venture of borderline legality.

Your AG is just going to tell you the law. Your attorney is going to tell you how to apply the law to your benefit.
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July 26, 2011, 06:13:12 PM
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SecondLife used to have in-world casinos that let you gamble using SecondLife's currency. They eventually had to ban that, because there was an obvious link between exchanging USD for SLL and back, just to gamble. Though the issue there could have been that all of SecondLife's servers are residing within US territories, or that SecondLife SLL currency is still minted and owned by a US corporation.
Wow, that was back in 2007 before I was an SL resident. If I remember right it was a US government concern only. I could very easily be wrong on that.
indio007
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July 26, 2011, 06:21:03 PM
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Why would he speak to attorney? To get fleeced?

Send a letter to your State AG and The US AG and ask what their legal position is.
I'm sure they won't claim an interest until you convert into gov't issued currency.
I would much rather be "fleeced" then fined or jailed before starting a venture of borderline legality.

Your AG is just going to tell you the law. Your attorney is going to tell you how to apply the law to your benefit.

For forgetting that mens rea (criminal intent) is an element of all crime. If the top law enforcement official is ambiguous or silent, you have a rock solid legal defense. Not to mention estoppel.

Quote
The Prudden court also stated that:
Silence can only be equated with fraud where there is a legal or moral duty to speak or where an inquiry
left unanswered would be intentionally misleading.
From the facts we find that the agent's failure to apprise the appellant of the obvious criminal nature of this
investigation was a sneaky deliberate deception by the agent under the above standard and a flagrant
disregard for appellant's rights. The silent misrepresentation was both intentionally misleading and
material. Any findings to the contrary under the facts of this case are clearly erroneous. United States v.
Reynolds, 511 F.2d 603 (5th Cir. 1975); United States v. Gunn, 428 F.2d 1057 (5th Cir. 1970).
BillX
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July 26, 2011, 06:29:25 PM
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For forgetting that mens rea (criminal intent) is an element of all crime. If the top law enforcement official is ambiguous or silent, you have a rock solid legal defense. Not to mention estoppel.

But now you have a criminal case all because you wanted to save about $250 in consultation fees because you don't like lawyers?
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July 26, 2011, 06:34:08 PM
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SecondLife used to have in-world casinos that let you gamble using SecondLife's currency. They eventually had to ban that, because there was an obvious link between exchanging USD for SLL and back, just to gamble. Though the issue there could have been that all of SecondLife's servers are residing within US territories, or that SecondLife SLL currency is still minted and owned by a US corporation.
Wow, that was back in 2007 before I was an SL resident. If I remember right it was a US government concern only. I could very easily be wrong on that.

Partly right that it was a US gov concern in that they included it in their 'protect American's money from gambling' package. 


On Rassah's point though the difference here is that someone starting a bitcoin casino would not have the connection of also being the same entity in charge of creating and exchanging said currency for USD.
In my personal non-legal advice opinion, as long as said casino operator leaves that part disconnected then they should be fairly safe from said clauses in US law. As others have said though, if you wish to under take any kind of legitimate venture then you should consult with someone who is well versed in the laws associated with such a venture..

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
It is being worked on by smart people. -DamienBlack
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July 26, 2011, 06:38:30 PM
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For forgetting that mens rea (criminal intent) is an element of all crime. If the top law enforcement official is ambiguous or silent, you have a rock solid legal defense. Not to mention estoppel.

But now you have a criminal case all because you wanted to save about $250 in consultation fees because you don't like lawyers?

........there is no age or IQ check to register for the forum.
BillX
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July 26, 2011, 07:13:50 PM
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For forgetting that mens rea (criminal intent) is an element of all crime. If the top law enforcement official is ambiguous or silent, you have a rock solid legal defense. Not to mention estoppel.

But now you have a criminal case all because you wanted to save about $250 in consultation fees because you don't like lawyers?

........there is no age or IQ check to register for the forum.

Golly, I thought everyone here graduated from either Harvard or Yale?
indio007
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July 26, 2011, 07:22:27 PM
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I take it neither of you know that pro se defendants win more felony cases at trial and on appeal than defendants represented by lawyers.

A lawyers duty to his client is not the primary , secondary or even tertiary duty. Taking a lawyer makes you a wad of the court.
It's not just the money although that's a factor for what I consider a waste.
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July 26, 2011, 07:41:14 PM
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I take it neither of you know that pro se defendants win more felony cases at trial and on appeal than defendants represented by lawyers.

A lawyers duty to his client is not the primary , secondary or even tertiary duty. Taking a lawyer makes you a wad of the court.
It's not just the money although that's a factor for what I consider a waste.
Calm down there Jethro. I know you don't like attorney's at all and how angry it makes you. Come on down the hall with me. We've got a nice soft quiet room waiting there for you. Just need those shoelaces and your belt first. There we go. The Doctors will be in shortly....
done
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July 26, 2011, 08:44:49 PM
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What is the legality if someone gambles with socks? Cool If done correctly the governments will have no ability to abuse their powers in this area like they do in so many other areas.
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July 26, 2011, 09:00:47 PM
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Can I gamble on your site for bitcoins, and have them automatically converted to drugs and hookers?  CasinoRoad? Or SilkCasino?  The profit potential is ass-tronomical.

Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.

-Warren Buffett
ctoon6
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July 26, 2011, 10:01:31 PM
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make it a tor hidden service. that way you dont know them, and they dont know you, nobody knows anybody.

done
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July 26, 2011, 10:27:08 PM
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Suppose I make a site where users gamble their bitcoins. Suppose it gets popular. Should I go ahead and get hosting outside of the US? What exactly do gambling laws say about virtual currencies?

I think the government will view gambling for bitcoins the same as gambling for casino chips. If it is legal to have a casino where you are, only then can you have a bitcoin casino.

Getting casino chips require you giving the casino fiat paper.
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July 26, 2011, 10:40:32 PM
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I am professional gambler.

The problem in the USA is UIGEA law. USA did not ban offshore gambling, but they ban transactions from/to offshore sites.
I am sure that they will somehow apply or adjust the stupid law even to this.

On the other side they will have big problems to track it.

They were able to shut down Neteller and other ewallets, bc they were companies. I would be carefully optimistic about this.

If Bitcoin makes it thru we can see hysteria bigger than with drugs and child abusing together.
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July 27, 2011, 02:20:22 AM
 #19

We see the legal precedent for gambling for bitcoins as being set, or at least guided, by Zynga and their Zynga Poker.

You can read our position here, http://btcsportsbetting.com/is-it-legal

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July 27, 2011, 03:26:11 AM
 #20

GL BTCsports


I have few questions if you care...
Will you start with affiliate program?
I do not see your lines - why?
Are you backed by some sportsbook (answer YES/NO if name is not possible)?
If NO, what is your experience with sportsbetting/bookmaking?
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