Confusion in the tropics

The respected online gambling information site MajorWager.com has reported on an interesting sequel to last week's news that the troubled 1x2.com gambling operation had been raided by police in Israel (see previous InfoPowa report).

Despite having first hand knowledge that Net Games Inc owners Shai and Idan Raviv had operated from Belize in 2000, MajorWager's editor was told by a government official that the company was not currently licensed by that jurisdiction. And officials had earlier told a local television station that they did not know the Raviv brothers.

In a telephone conversation with Lincoln Blake, an official of the Ministry of Economic Development, Major Wager was told:

"No it's the first time I hear about that company. It's not licensed under the laws of Belize.

"The Government of Belize recently discovered that several online gaming websites are claiming to have licenses in Belize. We want to advise the Internet community and the general public that there are only two with license to operate from Belize. These are Fulton Data Processing Limited and Sports Offshore Limited.

"Any other company that claims to have such a licence from Belize is clandestine. We ask all Internet users to refrain from doing business with these.

"All online gaming businesses in Belize are required under the Gaming Control Act and its online gaming regulations, to apply for a license. They must follow strict requirements and they must have a proven track record in gaming."

1x2.com certainly had a track record in online gambling, but it was not always the sort that appeals to gamblers, being besmirched by allegations of spamming, slow and no pay.

MajorWager comments that 1x2.com may not be licensed in Belize now, but most certainly at one point the Raviv brothers were welcomed with open arms by the Belize Government. And he should know - whilst visiting the central American country in 2000, a representative of the trade enclave actually introduced him to the brothers, and apparently Idan operated from that location for a number of years thereafter.

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