Wednesday, January 18, 2006
U.S. bank to shut down Antigua operation to prevent online gaming

Western Union, the U.S. bank which offers international money transfers, has shut down its operation in Antigua. According to the local online gaming industry, Western Union shut down its operations in order not to come in conflict with the authorities at home.

According to the U.S. law, in particular the Wire Act, gambling through telecommunications is forbidden. This means that online gambling is forbidden, with the exception of interstate online betting on horseracing, which is allowed by the Interstate Horseracing Act.

The Department of Justice has made it clear in the past that U.S. companies that facilitate illegal online gambling are complice in criminal acts. Credit card companies in the U.S. do not take transactions from foreign betting sites, but other means exist to circumvene the law. For example, it is possible to transfer money by credit card to an online bank, from which you can make payments to off-shore gambling sites.