Marketing Designer at All-in Translations Ida Bjerkeskaug (32) was arrested at McCarran International Airport last night accused of promoting online gambling in the Philippines.
Bjerkeskaug, who had been part of the organising committee for a SiGMA sponsored poker tournament at ASEAN Gaming Summit at PokerStars Live Room in Manila, arrived at McCarran Friday evening local time after boarding Philippine Air with a transit in San Francisco.
But the the Norwegian citizen was stopped at the security control and is now being held at Clark County Detention Center until she will appear in front of a judge next week. She was on her way to Vegas to attend her 2nd job as Creative Director at Upbeat Vegas.
CEO at All-in Translations Roy Pedersen told SiGMA that he is shocked about the accusations made towards his colleague.
“We offer language services to gambling companies but at no point have we offered actual wagering of money. The tournament we hosted in Manila was a freeroll, meaning it was free to enter although there were prizes worth more than €3K in the pool. But I don’t see how Ida can get arrested for that. Also the tournament was played live, as in not online, in the casino at City of Dreams, so the accusations of her promoting online gambling is both false and outrageous”.
Pedersen has yet to speak to Bjerkeskaug but is hoping he will have more news once she is allowed that one phone call.
“We will have to involve the Norwegian ambassador in Nevada if Ida is not released next week, but we are hoping this terrible misunderstanding will be cleared by then” Pedersen said.
It is unclear why Bjerkeskaug was detained in the US and not in the Philippines, as the accusations do not involve the US in any way. The US have a history of confronting people involved in online gambling, but no state has more liberal laws in that aspect than Nevada.
In the Philippines the laws of online gambling has become increasingly strict with Rodrigo Duterte as president.
“Online gambling must stop… I don’t want the proliferation of gambling in the country,” he said according to Asia Gaming Brief when inaugurated in June last year.
We will be back with more as soon as there are any updates.