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The state of New Jersey sued three online casinos Monday, saying the offshore companies broke the law by taking bets from state residents. The U.S. Justice Department has banned Internet gambling. State officials said in their lawsuit that there are not enough safeguards to prevent children from placing bets online. The state investigated 7sultans.com, Alohacasino.com, and royalclubcasino.com because they advertised in New Jersey, including billboards along the Atlantic City Expressway. Prosecutors want the companies to stop advertising and taking bets from residents. Authorities also want a detailed account of how many residents placed bets and how they fared. Investigators said they placed as many as 20 bets with the companies, which offered virtual card games and wagers on professional sports. Three teen-agers also placed bets while investigators watched, authorities said. State attorneys said they will ask a judge to allow them to serve legal papers by e-mail because they are having trouble locating company officials. Alohacasino.com and 7sultans.com were reached Monday at telephone numbers listed on their Web sites. Customer service managers at the companies refused to comment on the lawsuit or to provide the names and phone numbers of company officials. The state said Global Interactive, a St. Kitts-based company, performs administrative services for Royalclubcasino.com. A woman who answered the phone at Global Interactive refused to discuss the lawsuit or provide the names and phone numbers of company officials. Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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