ST. LOUIS (AP) _ The U.S. Attorney's office said Friday it reached a $158,000 settlement with owners of three St. Louis sports radio stations that advertised illegal offshore sports book and online gambling.
The agreement, filed in U.S. District Court in St. Louis, says that KFNS-AM, KFNS-FM and KFRT-AM knowingly received thousands of dollars from illegally promoting offshore and online gambling activities from mid-2000 to September 2003.
Not only did the radio stations agree to forfeit the money, they agreed to provide evidence in ongoing related investigations, U.S. Attorney James Martin said in a statement.
The St. Louis companies that own the radio stations are Missouri Sports Radio LLC, Simulcast LLC, and All Sports Radio LLC. They did not contest the allegations that they knowingly advertised illegal activities, Martin said.
Since betting is illegal except in Nevada, anyone who carries advertising about such enterprises and earned money by carrying those advertisements is considered to be aiding and abetting gambling, attorneys said.
Offshore gambling enterprises, typically located in the Caribbean, are luring American bettors by advertising heavily in the United States and encouraging them to place bets via the Internet or on a toll-free telephone line. The U.S. Attorney's office described the practice as a ``nationwide phenomenon.''
Arthur Margulis, who represented the radio stations, agreed.
``There is a nationwide investigation into media companies that have been deriving revenue by advertising offshore betting,'' Margulis said. ``We elected to forfeit the amount of $158,000 and resolve the matter in that way.''
Margulis said the media companies he represented are one entity incorporated under three separate names. A spokesman for the companies did not return a phone call seeking comment Friday. The companies' assets were sold in the last two weeks, Margulis said.