By Andrew F. Cooper (auth.)
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Extra info for Internet Gambling Offshore: Caribbean Struggles over Casino Capitalism
The Wire Act was introduced in 1961 largely as part of the fallout from a point-shaving scandal involving college basketball players. Sports stars – and of course officials who contravene perceptions of fairness – are shunned. Some of the best-known scandals include the 1919 ‘Black Sox’, including ‘say it ain’t so’ Joe Jackson, as well as Pete Rose, and referees such as the NBA’s Tim Donaghy, who was convicted of betting on games that he was officiating. Yet sports are also a form of national entertainment that requires constant jolts of excitement.
Although commonly characterized by its critics as a ‘faceless’ industry, unlike old-school bookies the entrepreneurs in the lead of the Internet gambling ascendancy did not hide in the shadows. The public face of the Antigua-based Internet gambling industry shares some of these same characteristics. Jay Cohen and his business partner Steve Schillinger – both of whom were former options traders at San Francisco’s Pacific Stock Exchange – established the World Sports Exchange (WSEX) offshore in Antigua just in time for bets on the 1997 Super Bowl.
That is to say, in the usage of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development, 1998) to limit the availability of such practices to ‘non-residents’ and thus isolate it from the domestic economy. Rarely in the case of OFCs are citizens of the ‘host’ jurisdiction systematically employed by the rent providers – so protecting the sponsoring country from harmful effects produced by its own incentive regime. Analogously, some degree of ring-fencing vis-à-vis the Internet gambling industry was imposed by the restrictions placed on the involvement of Antiguans as consumers in the IG sector (preventing them from accessing the industry as clients).