Victor Chandler exec questioned by Israeli authorities

The online gambling world has been buzzing with words of another Internet gaming company head being "detained" by authorities. To make the situation more clear, Michael Carlton, Victor Chandler chief executive, issued a statement about his meeting with authorities that took place Wednesday.

Carlton had been in Israel for a preplanned meeting with government ministers regarding online gambling licensing arrangements in the country. The meeting was at their request.

According to Carlton, before leaving the authorities invited him to spend a couple hours answering their questions regarding online gambling in Israel as well.

In Israel, gambling is overseen by a state-run monopoly. The newspaper Haaretz reported in December 2006 that Eran Shendar, Israeli state prosecutor, had outlawed online gambling by private operators.

The newspaper also reported that police were warning credit card companies that processing transactions for the illegal gambling operators would be a felony offense.

Despite that, Victory Chandler, which owns VC Poker, currently advertises in and accepts bets from Israel. Last year the company launched an aggressive marking campaign in the country that included billboards in many Israeli cities and a Hebrew Web site.

"Israel is currently a fraction of the Victor Chandler business," Carlton said in his statement. "However, we are keen to work with the authorities in Israel going forward and have already opened discussions with Knesset members."

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