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Internet betting site founder Nick Jenkins, who challenged the laws of gambling in his state, claiming his site, Betcha.com, should not actually be defined as gambling, watched as his computers were confiscated and his company seized on Monday by the Washington State Gambling Commission.
On Friday Jenkins had a meeting with the Washington State Gambling Commission. They told him to shut down his site or face the consequences. Jenkins told them he wasn’t going to shut down the site because it was not defined as gambling. They agreed to disagree.
As employees arrived to work on Monday they found the Washington State agents at their Seattle, Washington office. No one was arrested but the agents served the company with warrants for information, papers, and computers owned by the company. Subsequently, the site was also shut down.
“This is ridiculous,” Jenkins said. “I’m going to fight it. I don’t like the heavy-handed state coming down on entrepreneurs.”
In a retaliatory action Nick Jenkins has sought a restraining order against the state. He claims his site gets around the laws of gambling because there is no ‘house’ to gamble against. Players sign up for an account and make bets with other members of the site. Bets at the site are not guaranteed.
“This is an honor-based betting platform,” Jenkins said. “How can you be gambling under a legal definition if you don’t have to pay when you lose?”
Jenkins has said that the gambling commission has lost perspective on which laws it should enforce.
The seizures came on the same day that a lawyer in the state filed a suit against the government claiming their new law that makes gambling online a felony is unconstitutional.