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Arizona Businessman Betting on Online Gaming Kiosks

7 August 2001

ARIZONA –– As reported by the (Phoenix) Business-Journal: "Glenn Richardson, founder of the now-defunct MainstreetAuctions.com, is hoping for a big win from his latest business bet -- online-gambling kiosks.

"And stakes are high that the risk taker could face legal opposition or prosecution.

"Richardson has founded a business called Kiosk Systems Inc. with Internet kiosks in a dozen businesses such as sports bars, laundromats, medical waiting rooms and coffee shops. Users pay a nominal fee per minute and can visit any site (expect blocked pornography pages). However, access is free for two particular gambling sites.

"…The sites provide online solitaire games and trivia channels, but players also can participate in rounds of blackjack where they could win, or lose, real money.

"…Richardson said he is aware lawmakers are likely to scrutinize his business.

"…Most forms of gambling are illegal in Arizona, including online betting, and efforts to prevent it nationally are under way.

"…But Richardson maintains he is doing nothing illegal. He doesn't own the casinos or have a stake in them. He said he is just selling Internet access time where users can visit any site, including the advertised gambling pages.

"AZ Mills has Internet kiosks you can access for free. They're in the food-court area. I went down there myself, and I'm able to get online and gamble from these pages at the mall,` he said. `Granted they are not promoting or advertising gambling, but is it illegal to advertise for a casino?'

"Apparently it may be, according to the Arizona Office of the Attorney General. It is illegal in several ways and open for prosecution under numerous sections of Arizona law, said Gail Thackeray, special counsel for technology crimes.

"Thackeray said it is illegal to accept benefits from online gambling such as salary or business revenue; to furnish a device, assist in the organization or supervision of gambling; and for bar owners to knowingly host betting in their facilities…"

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