With a few Bitcoin-powered online casinos popping up every now and then, I am wondering where they are hosted and if they operate legally in the given area?
This is sort of a general question, so to simplify I'll pick a specific example: SatoshiDice.com
does not list their location.
A whois lookup shows that they host their DNS with a company called Public Domain Registry. Using their whois lookup shows that the domain name is registered to privacyprotect.org
Public Domain Registry: Beaverton, Oregon, United States
Their IP address resolves to 188.8.131.52, which is part of a /16 allocated to Amazon, and reverse DNS shows that it is part of their elastic compute cloud. The ARIN/amazon.com whois/amazonaws.com whois all have mailing addresses in Seattle. However, the servers are not located in seattle. A traceroute shows that this ec2 server is hosted in their eu-west-1 region. (i.e. Ireland)
Amazon: Seattle, Washington, United States
Maybe. What I know about international law could fill a thimble. But if you wanted to shut them down, there are a lot of jurisdictions that you could attack them in.
I`m quite sure, that all casinos are hosted on offshore location. Here you can find some of the botcoin hosting companies that offers offshore locations: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade#Web_Hosting