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Net gambling halted in Missouri

A Missouri judge issues a temporary restraining order against an online gaming firm after a teenager was able to register and gamble on its site.

A Missouri judge today issued a temporary restraining order barring U.S. Lottery, an online gaming firm, from offering its gambling services in the state.

The order was issued against executives of the Coeur d'Alene Indian tribe, where the computers that run the lottery are based, as well as UniStar Entertainment, which manages the site, and its parent, Executone.

Although online gambling has grown in popularity, it is difficult to regulate the ages and nationalities of the participants because of the anonymity the Web offers. Thus, it is also difficult to know whether credit card information given is safe or to verify what kinds of odds are offered on the sites.

According to the office of Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon, a Missouri teenager was able to open an account on the lottery site and gamble online.

The order, issued by Madison County Circuit Judge Stanley J. Murphy, prohibits the defendants from either offering any gambling in Missouri or concealing that online gaming is illegal in Missouri. Riverboat gambling is legal in Missouri.

U.S. Lottery features games where participants gamble online for real prizes. The tribal courts in the Idaho tribe have previously upheld the practice.

U.S. Lottery executives could not be reached for comment.