Free Carruthers FAQ

With the closing of Bet On Sports’ American operations–and effectively its entire business (story here), it is clear that this case will be much different from the 2000 Jay Cohen trial.

Some in the media have expressed wonder at the “secret” website launched to support indicted former BOS CEO David Carruthers. As I said in an earlier post, nothing posted on the Internet is secret, but some things can be mysterious, enigmatic, or inexplicable.

The site’s webmaster has sent me an extensive Q & A that explains who he is (though it doesn’t reveal his “secret identity,” for reasons that seem plausible enough). Here it is:

Q: Who are you?

A: I’m an independent security consultant in the online gaming industry.

Q: Nationality?

A: British.

Q: Do you have any affiliation with BETonSPORTS Plc, David Carruthers, or
his legal team?

A: No. Unlike for example the now archived, is a completely independent effort.

I don’t own any stock in BETonSPORTS Plc either.

Q: Are you an ex-colleague of David’s? Did you work at Ladbrokes or
BETonSPORTS before or after its listing?

A: No. I have never met David but I, like many, wish him and his family well.

Q: Are you being supported by anyone financially or otherwise to do this?

A: No, I’m doing it completely under my own steam, and completely at my
cost both in time and money.

Q: Why are you doing this?

A: The David Carrruthers and Nigel Potter cases are indicative of the
complete failure of the Blair administration to stand up for the rights of
British citizens. The actions of certain ambitious District Attorneys in
the US are no less foul in their callous disregard for those people who’s
lives they destroy as a result of prosecutions like these, but it is the
passivity and inaction of the Blair administration that is the most

You have to draw a line in the sand about remaining silent in the face of
injustice. With the arrest of Carruthers and clear intention of Blair to
sell more British people down the river via the Extradition Act 2003
(evidenced by the NatWest Three’s recent plane ride to Texas) that line
was crossed.

You might say that I believe that one man can (and should) make a
difference. I hope to do so.

Q: Why won’t you tell the world more than your first name? What do you
have to hide?

A: The current US administration does not tolerate dissent, and I do not
wish my name to be on a watchlist when I travel, so that as happened with
David, when the passenger’s details are shipped off under the US-EU
Passenger Name Record agreement within 15 minutes of the plane taking off,
I do not receive what the US Administration deems appropriate ‘treatment’
when I land.

Q: Are you anti-American?

Not at all. I am a big proponent of the special relationship between the
UK and US, and the Anglosphere.

Q: What are your politics?

A: I am skeptical of all politicians, of left or right, in the UK or
elsewhere. People from the US in particular have let their politicians run
amok since 9/11/01 and to grab all kinds of power they should not have, in
the name of the so called ‘War on Terror’.

I wish more people from the US would watch Adam Curtis’ ‘The Power of
Nightmares’ and understand that unless restrained by sensible people,
“those with the darkest fears became the most powerful”, and cast that
shadow into the every day lives of everyone.

Q: Do you dislike journalists?

A: I dislike sloppy, lazy journalism, like Sharon Churcher’s article in
the Mail on Sunday about the BETonSPORTS case. Articles like that are the
reason why blogs are becoming far more trusted and frequently read than
the newspapers. Each time poor articles like that are published, the
reputation and influence of the fourth estate is further diminished. This
is not 1986.

Q: What do you think the main effects of the David Carruthers arrest have

A: Apart from hitting share prices, causing British CEOs to rethink their
travel plans and their ‘directors and officers’ insurance cover, the
arrest has caused two short-term effects;

The first was to ensure that other sports betting operations just got a
boost from all of the publicity regarding the case, and not just from the
‘ex’ customers of BETonSPORTS who currently haven’t a place to bet but
completely new customers too;

The second is that many US-facing sportsbook operations (such as
Sportingbet USA) have abruptly stopped taking telephone wagers, and are
moving their operations completely to Internet-only wagering platforms
such as Finsoft or SportsPulse. While there is no expectation that the US
‘Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act’ will pass the Senate, there
is a rightful concern that continuing to take telephone wagers now opens
operators to further prosecutions based on the 1961 US ‘Wire Act’.

Q: What about the future effects?

A: This is less clear, and depends on the Blair government getting its
collective thumb out of its posterior and standing up for its citizens for

Three good things the Blair administration has done in the last nine years
in office are making the Bank of England independent, liberalising the
alcohol licensing laws to permit 24hr drinking, and the Gambling Act 2005.

That they are now not standing up for British businesses who are prepared
to bring the government revenues under that Act by operating foreign
facing remote gaming sites is unbelievable.

Q: What is your vision for the FreeDavidCarruthers website?

A: I intend it to become a central rallying point for discussion of the
David Carruthers case and its injustice, the plight of UK businessmen
under the Extradition Act 2003, and the issue of online gambling and its
regulation in general.

Previously, I’d considered the Carruthers case chiefly in light of American online prohibition efforts, but it’s interesting to see how others in the world see it.

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