Thursday, February 24, 2005

Shaune Bagwell makes WSJ

We were thinking all along that Shaune Bagwell's chest branding was just a stunt to enhance her public persona and scare up a little beer money, but it turns out she's part of a sneaky strategy by online casino concerns to circumvent the federal government.

How could we be so naive?

Says The Wall Street Journal.

In the summer of 2003, the Justice Department sent letters to U.S. media companies warning them they might be prosecuted for running ads by online casinos, because they would be "aiding and abetting" an illegal pursuit. Federal prosecutors also began a grand jury investigation into companies doing business with online casinos...
The government's actions had a dramatic effect on the advertising of Internet gaming companies, at least at first. In late 2003, large media firms such as Discovery Communications Inc.'s Discovery Networks, Viacom Inc.'s Infinity Broadcasting Corp. and Clear Channel Communications Inc. stopped accepting the ads. But an even bigger blow to online casinos came in April 2004, when Yahoo Inc. and Google Inc. stopped accepting ads, including the sponsored search listings that casinos relied on for a big chunk of their traffic.

Some legal experts, however, question the Justice Department's contention that media companies might be violating the law when they run ads from online gaming concerns. The legality of online gambling has been a matter of some debate. The government argues that the 1961 Federal Wire Act, which outlawed sports betting over state and international lines, makes all Internet casinos illegal. But several federal courts have said that law is limited to sports betting.

The story mentions Bagwell in the 7th graf.

For her efforts, she has been labeled a "skank" by Sportsradio610's Lance Zerlein while ex-husband Jeff Bagwell has not uttered a peep.

Lonely are the brave, Shaune.[wsj]

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