Internet-gambling firm is leaving Maryland

Maryland Watch

February 15, 1997

A Silver Spring company that runs games of chance over the Internet is moving out of state, bowing to Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr.'s threats to prosecute the firm as an illegal gambling operation.

RealTIME Network Inc. said it still believes it has not broken Maryland law because it set up its Internet site so that Maryland consumers would be unable to play its games, including blackjack and a TV trivia game.

But the company said it would stop doing business in Maryland "out of a spirit of cooperation," according to a statement from the company's law firm.

Curran issued a cease-and-desist letter to RealTIME Feb. 6. The letter had no force of law, but told the company Maryland prosecutors believed the games constituted a misdemeanor because RealTIME's facilities were in the state. Curran gave RealTIME a week to shut its local operation.

The games did not appear to be set up to bar Maryland consumers from playing. A Sun reporter was able to register online as a RealTIME customer and buy electronic betting chips this week, using a Maryland billing address.

Pub Date: 2/15/97

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