Israeli online casino owner cleared

Israeli online casino owner cleared

November 6, 2009.

Doing a little crowing about his victory in an Israeli court this week was Naphtali Goldman (34), the sole owner of online casino operation Lucky 18 Casino.

Goldman became the subject of an Israeli police investigation earlier this year and was questioned regarding allegations that he offered online gambling to Israeli residents.

In his press statement this week, Goldman explains that this was found not to be the case. He reports that his operations were "...exonerated of any wrongdoing by local authorities" with regard to the claims that he hosted and processed payment for the Lucky 18 casino in Israel.

"Lucky 18 casino founded 2 years ago....was found to have all relevant licenses' to operate a legal and transparent online casino; after an exhaustive investigation, Lucky 18 casino has been found to run a bona fide legitimate operation as is required by law," Goldman's statement reads, notifying the industry that his online casino has returned to full operational capacity (but not in Israel).

Goldman and others were interrogated by Israeli authorities 2 months ago on claims of hosting an online casino platform within an Israeli jurisdiction.

Judge Esther Nachliel - Khayat at the Rishon Leziyon Magistrates Court expressed strong doubts on whether Goldman had broken any laws, and during the proceedings she famously asked enforcement officials: "Tedi Sagi (a major shareholder in the Playtech software company) was my neighbour. I am therefore somewhat familiar with the subject. What is the difference between him and Mr. Goldman before me?"

The interrogating authority failed to demonstrate that any wrongdoing or bad practice had taken place.

Lawyers for Goldman hinted that a civil suit against enforcement agencies may be in the works, commenting: "Due to the lack of understanding about the online gaming industry, authorities acted irresponsibly, opening the doorway to a substantial civil lawsuit."

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