Gary Trask
Gary Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has worked as a writer and editor more than 20 years. The Boston native was a member of the Poker Hall of Fame's inaugural Media Committee and a current member of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame voting panel.

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Pinnacle Sports stops offering North American horse races

18 December 2008
By Gary Trask

Offshore bookmaker Pinnacle Sports decided to suspend betting on North American horse racing earlier this week.

The company put a statement on the "Horse Betting" portion of its Web site that said it "finds itself in a position where we are unable to offer horse racing to our satisfaction." The sportsbook added that the "declining interest of clients in racing in general has prompted us to discontinue wagering on daily North American horse racing with immediate effect."

Pinnacle Sports, which also offers poker and an online casino, assured customers that their range of sports betting markets and casino games will still be available.

When contacted by Casino City, a spokesperson from Pinnacle would not comment on why the move to take down horse racing wagers was made, citing that it is "company policy" not to comment on "business decisions."

Pinnacle is licensed in Netherlands, Antilles and is owned by Pinnacle Sports Worldwide.

Lawrence Walters, a Florida lawyer who specializes in Internet gambling law, speculated that Pinnacle made the decision as a way "to be safe, rather than sorry."

"I think a lot of the offshore casinos and sportsbooks are having the increasing sense that they can no longer avoid the long arm of the U.S. law," said Walters, a managing partner at the firm Weston, Garrou, Walters & Mooney. "And, really, who can blame them when you look at all that has gone on recently."

But despite this act of apparent caution by Pinnacle, Walters strongly believes that the U.S. "has no business prosecuting the offshore casinos," unless the casinos had a "much stronger presence in the U.S."

"And even then the U.S. would not have any kind of a slam dunk case against them," Walters added. "But I think what's happening is that these companies are looking to be safe for the long haul. They simply looking to avoid any kind of trouble with U.S. authorities."

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