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Dikshit Receives One Year Probation in Party Gaming Case

Dec 18, 2010
Author: Steven Lock
Dikshit Receives One Year Probation in Party Gaming Case

Anurag Dikshit, one of the founders of Party Gaming, managed to avoid jail time as sentencing came down after previously having pled guilty to violating the Wire Act of 1961 by offering online gambling services to American players. Dikshit received just one year of probation, although he had already agreed to forfeit $300 million as part of his plea bargain.

As part of the deal, Dikshit has also been cooperating in the federal investigation into Party Gaming’s activities. Party Gaming as a whole is rather insulated from any charges, since it struck a non-prosecution agreement with the US government. As part of the deal, Party Gaming agreed to admit that their operations within the United States were contrary to US laws.

The Wire Act at the center of this case specifically applies to sports betting, and not other forms of gambling. Most other online gaming companies – even those that may no longer do business in the United States – have held that the Wire Act does not apply to online poker or casino games.

In fact, many others in the industry were surprised in 2008 when Dikshit agreed to the idea that his company had broken the law. PokerStars, for instance, maintains that they have done nothing to violate US law, and the federal government has never attempted to bring charges against any company operating gambling sites in the country. In Dikshit’s case, he came forward voluntarily to settle with the United States – a move many in the industry saw as a betrayal.

The two other Party Gaming cofounders – Ruth Parasol DeLeon and Russell DeLeon – have not been charged. Both currently live in Europe.

In the absence of Party Gaming in the American market, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker have reaped most of the benefits. According to estimates by Forbes, PokerStars generates $1.4 billion in annual revenue, while Full Tilt Poker generates around $500 million a year. Forbes also estimates that approximately 2.5 million Americans play online poker.

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