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Betcha.com founder arrested in Louisiana

11 October 2007

Betcha.com founder Nicholas G. Jenkins, 38, and two of his employees have surrendered.

The three men voluntarily flew from Washington to Louisiana where they were charged and booked for illegal gambling by computer on Wednesday, according to The Advocate in Baton Rouge.

Betcha.com was a Seattle-based person-to-person betting exchange that charged fees for placing bets based on how much money was being wagered. It was Jenkins' claim that since nobody from Betcha.com actually accepted real money bets, the operation was legal.

In a guest column for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Tuesday, Jenkins wrote, "We think Betcha.com is legal, and in July we filed a lawsuit against the WSGC to get a state judge's take. Our hearing is scheduled for Nov. 9."

But Jenkins and his employees - Josie M. Imlay, 24, and Peter M. Abrahamsen, 25 - were charged with breaking Internet gambling laws in the state of Louisiana after a Louisiana state trooper, acting with the Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC), accepted four bets. Betcha.com's profit on those bets was 70 cents. Jenkins claimed that the state trooper's bets were placed 32 minutes after he notified the WSGC of the lawsuit.

"That raises an inference of retaliation," Jenkins wrote in his column. If convicted, the three Seattle residents could face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $20,000 each.

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Betcha.com founder arrested in Louisiana is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.