FBI shuts down top online poker sites immediately after DC OKs its own site

posted at 12:00 pm on April 17, 2011 by Rovin

Coincidence? Or Chicago-style strong arming by the Federal Government? Or both?

Just days after Washington D.C. approves online poker gambling, the Justice Department, FBI hands out indictments to three major online poker sites charging them with bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling offenses. (via The Hill)

“Executives at PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker have been charged with bank fraud and money laundering.  The FBI shut down three of the largest poker websites Friday in what appears to be the largest crackdown on illegal online gambling to date.  Eleven executives at PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker have been charged with bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling offenses. Prosecutors are seeking to immediately shut down the sites and recover $3 billion from the firms.”

A related L.A. Times story explains how “the bust” went down, the effects among online gamblers, and the ramifications of the Federal law passed in 2006 under the direction of then Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist when he added the measure to a port security bill.

“The FBI had shut down two of the sites, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, by Friday evening and were working to do the same with the third, Absolute Poker. Online visitors were greeted with a message saying, “This domain name has been seized by the F.B.I. pursuant to an Arrest Warrant,” and an enumeration of federal anti-gambling statutes and penalties.

An estimated 8 million to 10 million Americans play poker online for money; thousands of them earn their living on the sites, according to a players advocacy group.

Congress tried to shut down the industry by enacting an anti-gambling law in 2006, but most sites found ways to work around the vaguely worded measure. Since then other members of Congress have proposed bills to legalize Internet gambling, but they have failed to reach a floor of either chamber.

“These defendants concocted an elaborate criminal fraud scheme, alternately tricking some U.S. banks and effectively bribing others to assure the continued flow of billions in illegal gambling profits,” Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement.

The 2006 law did not directly outlaw online poker sites, but instead barred businesses from taking payments for “unlawful” online gambling, leaving the definition of what is unlawful to others.”

And Bill Frist motives were certainly questionable at the time, still leaving online gambling sites wondering how the law was to be interpreted:

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, in pushing the measure through Congress as part of a port security bill just prior to adjournment last weekend, seemed more intent on pleasing social conservatives than truly gutting online gambling.

Joseph Kelly, a law professor at Buffalo (NY) State College and an attorney for online gaming concerns, calls the law “highly unenforceable.” The act makes it illegal for banks to transfer money from customer accounts to online gambling firms. But for the most part, bettors don’t pay their online bookies directly. Payments usually are routed to offshore firms through an online intermediary such as Canadian-based Neteller, the biggest money-transfer firm in this sphere. In addition, American banking lobbyists insisted that the most basic form of payment be exempted if the industry was to support the law. That’s the good old-fashioned check — both paper and electronic versions — whose volume made them impossible to monitor. So checks are exempted.

Fast forward to the new king of “legal” online poker:

The District is becoming the first U.S. jurisdiction to allow Internet gambling, trying to raise millions of dollars from the habits of online poker buffs and acting ahead of traditional gambling meccas like New Jersey and Nevada.  Permitting the online games was part of the 2011 budget and a 30-day period for Congress to object expired last week, said D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown, who authored the provision. The gaming would be operated by Intralot, a Greek company, and would be available only to gamblers within the borders of the District.

……………The move to legalize the games comes despite a 2006 federal law that effectively banned Internet gambling. The law basically prohibited banks and credit card companies from processing payments from gambling companies to individuals. But the law is murky, and gambling experts say it created enough grey areas to open the door for a deeper expansion into the multibillion dollar industry.

“There was really no clear law that said we could not do this,” Brown said Wednesday. D.C. hopes to tap those millions to help offset budget cuts and help social services programs, Brown said.

Jeff Ifrah, a lawyer whose firm represents online gaming companies, said he was dubious about any revenue estimates since they naturally assume that online poker players will migrate from their favorite site to a new one endorsed by a state.  “Players are really loyal in this industry,” Ifrah said. “You really have to ask yourself what is the incentive a player is going to have to leave a trusted site with global competition to play in a site that’s untested and kind of unknown and doesn’t offer you the same level of play.”  (emphasis mine)

Oh boy, the “incentive” was initiated by the full thrust of the DOJ and the FBI, who are playing their hand just like a skilled poker player. But, has D.C. stacked the deck?   The whole “deal” reeks of Federal Cronyism, and I’d “bet” others are asking questions about the timing of the FBI bust, and who else might have been “sitting at the table”.

Related story via Hot Air December 8, 2010 by Ed Morrissey—Harry Reid is either fuming over these developments or might have been well aware of them—who knows?

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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The Boy King Obama- Royal Flush.

profitsbeard on April 17, 2011 at 12:03 PM

So your saying the Feds don’t like competition…who knew!

Africanus on April 17, 2011 at 12:06 PM

It’s for the children!

IowaWoman on April 17, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Next up– Chicago and Detroit?

obladioblada on April 17, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Given the level of intelligence of most of the population of D.C., I’d think some enterprising poker player might just want to take up residence there — at least for as long as it takes to clean the other players out.

AZCoyote on April 17, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Bill Frist should have stayed in medicine.

ladyingray on April 17, 2011 at 12:12 PM

The beast is hungry….and it knows NO boundaries!!!

Lew on April 17, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Progressives want to encourage dependency? Really?

Hey residents of DC you’ll have it all soon……..Free abortions, welfare, and the district will probably give you online gift cards to gamble……..SWEET.

Hey DC minorities………did you realize you just shackled yourself to a new master? This ones name is Uncle Sam!

PappyD61 on April 17, 2011 at 12:24 PM

The beast is hungery….and it knows tolerates NO boundaries!!!

Better!!!

Lew on April 17, 2011 at 12:25 PM

I can see the new PSAs now…

Online gambling is addictive. It can destroy lives. Don’t gamble online….unless it’s at http://www.dcgaming.com, in which case, gamble your kids’ college fund away.

This message brought to you by the Department of Hypocrisy

angryed on April 17, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Hey! Leave the DC polls alone! Gotta pay for that nose candy somehow!

GarandFan on April 17, 2011 at 12:30 PM

It’s not DC by accident. The Feds have wanted a piece of the gambling pie for a long time. The states are getting a big hunk of money from lotto, Indian casinos, etc in their states. The feds see online gambling as their cash cow. This is the first step in a negotiation, not really a prosecution. The Feds want 1/2 of all online gambling.

Rocks on April 17, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Given the level of intelligence of most of the population of D.C., I’d think some enterprising poker player might just want to take up residence there — at least for as long as it takes to clean the other players out.

AZCoyote on April 17, 2011 at 12:07 PM

1st rule of poker: If you can’t tell who the sucker at the table is, IT’S YOU.

gryphon202 on April 17, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Now here’s a whammy … I’m a die-hard SoCon and I have no problems with online gambling.

HondaV65 on April 17, 2011 at 12:48 PM

The whole “deal” reeks of Federal Cronyism, and I’d “bet” others are asking questions about the timing of the FBI bust, and who else might have been “sitting at the table”.

This is what happens when there is a Chicago style thug in the White House.

Freddy on April 17, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Now here’s a whammy … I’m a die-hard SoCon and I have no problems with online gambling.

HondaV65 on April 17, 2011 at 12:48 PM

In most states that allow some form of tribal or non-tribal gambling, poker doesn’t meet the definition of “gambling.” Put that on your Visa and charge it!

gryphon202 on April 17, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Umm Bill Frist isnt in Congress anymore and isnt Majority leader.

This article is from 2006.

William Amos on April 17, 2011 at 12:55 PM

It’s the Obama Way – eliminate the competition.

RedNewEnglander on April 17, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Ah OK need to read first. THe first article was at the time of the law and this is the current moves by DOJ.

Sorry for the misinterpretation.

William Amos on April 17, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Umm Bill Frist isnt in Congress anymore and isnt Majority leader.

This article is from 2006.

William Amos on April 17, 2011 at 12:55 PM

William, the law was passed when Bill Frist was in congress. It wasn’t enforced until now.

gryphon202 on April 17, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Hey DC minorities………did you realize you just shackled yourself to a new master? This ones name is Uncle Sam!

PappyD61 on April 17, 2011 at 12:24 PM

“just”?

Hell, they shackled themselves to that master decades ago.

Midas on April 17, 2011 at 1:09 PM

angryed on April 17, 2011 at 12:26 PM

We already have that in Michigan. The state puts out PSA’s for gambling addiction and then runs them right before the state Lottery spots.

flytier on April 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Bill Frist should have stayed in medicine.
ladyingray on April 17, 2011 at 12:12 PM

You voted him in, so thanks for that.

spinach.chin on April 17, 2011 at 1:21 PM

It’s that the way Obama got elected to the state house, got rid of the competition by saying they had filed illegally?

flytier on April 17, 2011 at 1:21 PM

If you corruptly milk an operation competing in the private sector, you will soon bankrupt it. You need to establish a monopoly so you can milk it without killing it. A lot of milk will come from this DC gambling gambit you can bet. (Better idea is don’t play if you did not establish the game.)

KW64 on April 17, 2011 at 1:27 PM

One theory is Reid (D-NV) has been working with the Obama DoJ to kill online gambling, as the theory is then NV brick and mortar poker rooms would get more business.

Paul-Cincy on April 17, 2011 at 1:30 PM

You have to be an idiot to play online. Imagine yourself playing against 5 others that are sitting in a room together, playing poker on their laptops and knowing each others hands. You are the mark.

VegasRick on April 17, 2011 at 1:36 PM

You have to be an idiot to play online. Imagine yourself playing against 5 others that are sitting in a room together, playing poker on their laptops and knowing each others hands. You are the mark.

VegasRick on April 17, 2011 at 1:36 PM

They have security measures to prevent that kind of thing from happening. You’d have to be awfully savvy to spoof an IP in such a way as to get past it.

gryphon202 on April 17, 2011 at 1:41 PM

That’s fine, but when do they shut down the Social Security Administration for similar offenses?

reaganaut on April 17, 2011 at 1:45 PM

One theory is Reid (D-NV) has been working with the Obama DoJ to kill online gambling, as the theory is then NV brick and mortar poker rooms would get more business.

Paul-Cincy on April 17, 2011 at 1:30 PM

I play(ed) online at Full Tilt, and earlier at Party Poker. Recently Harrah’s has decided to lobby for online poker. Before a couple years ago they stupidly sat on the sidelines, at best. Have a Harrah’s in the town I live in, and can tell you that their poker room is nowhere near as busy as pre-UIGEA. Some may have thought that it will help reduce online competition for customers, but it fed big numbers of new players to their bricks and mortar operations. Of course, you could also chalk much of this up to the economy being in shambles too…

Now Harrah’s could easily approve a move like this because it will effectively clear out all the U.S. competition and allow them to to step in and launch their own lucrative online version when they get enough politicians in their corner. It would be enough revenue to make the lottery seem like child’s play, whenever they decide to legalize and regulate it.

stldave on April 17, 2011 at 1:50 PM

You have to be an idiot to play online. Imagine yourself playing against 5 others that are sitting in a room together, playing poker on their laptops and knowing each others hands. You are the mark.

VegasRick on April 17, 2011 at 1:36 PM

It doesn’t work like that. For one, there are tournaments that switch up the tables you’re at every single hand you’re dealt. For another, linked IP addresses get banned. And even if you know everyone else’s cards, you still don’t know mine.

Now, there was a scandal with Party Poker or some other site, where an employee was able to do something and see everyone’s cards. He’d still lose a hand or two, cause he still couldn’t see the cards coming on the board before anyone else, but he’d banked until he was caught. Some players figured it out somehow, and the site ended up refunding a bunch of money.

You can cheat online at Hold ‘Em, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for the other person to win. I’ve made a ton off of it.

Esthier on April 17, 2011 at 1:55 PM

The fact that some here think Frist is still in government says a lot.

darwin-t on April 17, 2011 at 1:59 PM

I think the cheating scandal you were referring to, Esthier, was at Absolute Poker. Someone had a “superuser” account that showed all hands, and what happened is that the guy got greedy about it and called a huge end of tournament bet with absolute air, and won because his opponent happened to have one of the few hands that could have lost to him. Completely nonsensical play that people wouldn’t make on a freeroll, but he won. The opponent asked for a hand history, and the report they sent to him somehow had everyone’s hand history, not just his.

So yeah there is some of those stories, and there are bots, and there is all kinds of datamining, but you can win in online poker if you know how to manage a bankroll, understand game theory, and can emotionally deal with the short term variance.

stldave on April 17, 2011 at 2:05 PM

So yeah there is some of those stories, and there are bots, and there is all kinds of datamining, but you can win in online poker if you know how to manage a bankroll, understand game theory, and can emotionally deal with the short term variance.

stldave on April 17, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Managing a bankroll, understanding game theory, and dealing with short-term variance is how you win at any poker, online or otherwise. It’s the only widely-played casino game that doesn’t involve competing against the house.

gryphon202 on April 17, 2011 at 2:08 PM

The fact that some here think Frist is still in government says a lot.

darwin-t on April 17, 2011 at 1:59 PM

But anybody who thinks that the effects of Frist’s pandering to James Dobson aren’t still ongoing, is sadly mmistaken.

gryphon202 on April 17, 2011 at 2:19 PM

I have made over $100k playing online poker and have taken trips around the world from tournaments I won playing online. Yes..I payed my taxes.

This is a total attack on our freedom…hell, EUROPE lets you play online, so does Canada…..where has happened to my America.

magic kingdom on April 17, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Barney Frank of all people tried to get online poker legalized…he was my guy on this issue…and I HATE Barney Frank 99% of the time.

magic kingdom on April 17, 2011 at 2:23 PM

I’m a lawyer in this business and I will tell you exactly what is happening. Harry Reid is owned by the big Nevada casino companies. He is clearing the decks for their entry into the online gambling space and he is getting cooperation from the lobbyist in chief in the Whitehouse. It is ridiculous that we have US attorneys spending time on people playing poker. Unfortunately much of this comes for the former Repub Leader in the Senate, Bill Frist. He made a deal with Harry Reid at the time. The is the best example of totally corrupt DC crowd I have seen in a long time

georgealbert on April 17, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Seeing as how nobody is supposed to ‘reside’ in the District in the first place, how do they plan to have any players?

Oh wait…I guess that law is murky, too.

James on April 17, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Unfortunately much of this comes for the former Repub Leader in the Senate, Bill Frist. He made a deal with Harry Reid at the time. The is the best example of totally corrupt DC crowd I have seen in a long time

georgealbert on April 17, 2011 at 2:23 PM

James Dobson’s influence in all this can not be understated.

gryphon202 on April 17, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Magic Kingdom, you have to remember there are competing forces for the gambling dollar. People in Vegas and Atlantic City may see this as being against their interests if they do not have a stake in online poker. The majority of politicians are for sale, it’s just a matter of price.

Africanus on April 17, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Magic Kingdom, you have to remember there are competing forces for the gambling dollar. People in Vegas and Atlantic City may see this as being against their interests if they do not have a stake in online poker. The majority of politicians are for sale, it’s just a matter of price.

Africanus on April 17, 2011 at 2:32 PM

They don’t need to clear out the competition because they should be able to compete honestly. They don’t want to, because having to maintain the brick-and-mortar casinos stateside puts them at a competitive disadvantage and they know it.

gryphon202 on April 17, 2011 at 2:39 PM

I mean no disrespect to anyone at HA management, but it’s high time Rovin made the front page. Nice post Rovin. This is another nail in Obama’s coffin. Telling us what we can and can’t eat; forcing life styles upon us that are not of our choice; taking our tax dollars to buy out huge chucks of the private sector instead of fixing our roads, bridges, and energy needs… What a bunch of morons these Progressive are.

Keemo on April 17, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Does this fall under Issa’s oversight responsibilities? I’d love to see a congressional hearing on this amazing coincidence.

Buy Danish on April 17, 2011 at 2:59 PM

I mean no disrespect to anyone at HA management, but it’s high time Rovin made the front page. Nice post Rovin. This is another nail in Obama’s coffin. Telling us what we can and can’t eat; forcing life styles upon us that are not of our choice; taking our tax dollars to buy out huge chucks of the private sector instead of fixing our roads, bridges, and energy needs… What a bunch of morons these Progressive are.

Keemo on April 17, 2011 at 2:51 PM

I don’t think kudos to Rovin would be construed as disrespect in any way shape or form. But I think special thanks are due to Cap’n Ed. I believe he made the decision to promote this post.

gryphon202 on April 17, 2011 at 3:01 PM

‘The whole “deal” reeks of Federal Cronyism’

Sounds to me more like one “mob” taking over the “rackets” of another “mob” circa 1920′s Chicago. Obama will probably install a national poker czar with a name something like Al “the enforcer” Capone.

Basil Fawlty on April 17, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Most poker players I know would welcome some type of regulation on internet poker where taxes were taken out and everybody wins.

magic kingdom on April 17, 2011 at 3:12 PM

OT, but.. GIRD YOUR LOINS, folks !!

pambi on April 17, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Sounds to me more like one “mob” taking over the “rackets” of another “mob” circa 1920′s Chicago.

Basil Fawlty on April 17, 2011 at 3:04 PM

See what’s happening in Russia today. The more you try to point out corruption, the more likely they’ll send to some hellhole of a jail. Russian billionaires are in jail. Admittedly, worse than what’s going on here. But in each case, it appears the politically powerful are pulling the strings to decide who goes to jail and who thrives.

Paul-Cincy on April 17, 2011 at 3:53 PM

I don’t think kudos to Rovin would be construed as disrespect in any way shape or form. But I think special thanks are due to Cap’n Ed. I believe he made the decision to promote this post.

gryphon202 on April 17, 2011 at 3:01 PM

This is why we love Captain Ed here in the Skelton family.

Keemo on April 17, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Most poker players I know would welcome some type of regulation on internet poker where taxes were taken out and everybody wins.

magic kingdom on April 17, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Then most poker players you know are blithering simps. The federal government has no business whatsoever in regulating gaming, and the states where it’s legal already tax the crap out of it.

gryphon202 on April 17, 2011 at 4:39 PM

See what’s happening in Russia today. The more you try to point out corruption, the more likely they’ll send to some hellhole of a jail. Russian billionaires are in jail. Admittedly, worse than what’s going on here. But in each case, it appears the politically powerful are pulling the strings to decide who goes to jail and who thrives.

Paul-Cincy on April 17, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Right on! The Obama adminstration every day gets more like those “reformed” Russian communist “politically powerful”. leaders.

Basil Fawlty on April 17, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Sorry for the misinterpretation.
William Amos on April 17, 2011 at 12:57 PM

I didn’t quite get the “Frist part” in the proper sequence William, which made it easy to confuse, my bad. But I really wanted to get Frist into the story because I loath any politician that slips these last minute riders into bills, (whether social or fiscal). Mr. Frist knew full well this crap might have never passed with a full debate and public input. I’ve got a few emails into some of the owners and sponsors at FullTilt and PokerStars but no word yet. I’d love to hear how the pros and celebrities like the DOJ’s “progressive” assault.

Gary Wise at ESPN has written a great post on this subject just a few hours ago (east coast time), and it’s a good read from all perspectives.

Rovin on April 17, 2011 at 5:17 PM

So the Feds can shut down a gambling site but not wikileaks?

BierManVA on April 17, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Was that a reward to the Las Vegas Casino interests which put their weights in to re-elect Harry Reid?

bayview on April 17, 2011 at 5:28 PM

I think the cheating scandal you were referring to, Esthier, was at Absolute Poker. Someone had a “superuser” account that showed all hands, and what happened is that the guy got greedy about it and called a huge end of tournament bet with absolute air, and won because his opponent happened to have one of the few hands that could have lost to him. Completely nonsensical play that people wouldn’t make on a freeroll, but he won. The opponent asked for a hand history, and the report they sent to him somehow had everyone’s hand history, not just his.

stldave on April 17, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Close but no cigar. The infamous site that you are thinking of is Ultimate Bet. After the scandal went totally public they shed so many members that they had to link up with Absolute Bet in order to stay alive. The scandal was discovered by users of the 2+2 Forum with a lot of very clever detective work. Ultimate Bet denied it until the evidence became overwhelming. It is a very interesting story and would make a heck of a movie. 2+2 has a permanent thread that more or less tells the entire story. It is a very worthwhile read and it can be found here.

trapeze on April 17, 2011 at 6:00 PM

magic kingdom on April 17, 2011 at 2:23 PM

I know… what a world we live in!! The GOP can’t “square the circle” between personal liberty and taking the side of banning online poker (or gaming for that matter).

Neo-con Artist on April 17, 2011 at 6:04 PM

trapeze on April 17, 2011 at 6:00 PM

There was another issue with Absolute Poker, Trapeze. stldave summed it up nice. I was playing AP at the time, and there was lots of chatter about it.

Neo-con Artist on April 17, 2011 at 6:07 PM

And, yeah, the crony capitalism angle is the best and most likely explanation for why this happened.

I think that you can expect the feds to begin issuing some very godawful expensive licenses to brick and mortar casinos to conduct online poker in the very near future. There is simply too much money at stake for them not to do it.

And that is apart from the taxes that will automatically be deducted from every players account.

Online poker is an enormous cash cow and it is amazing that the feds have not gone after it sooner than this. Nevertheless, the way in which it was done with the seizure of sites, the 9 count indictments (which will likely spread to way more than the original 11 people), the seizure of $3 billion, etc. is ugly beyond belief.

BTW, one of the things not mentioned by Rovin is the Australian rat who made it all possible. I started blogging on this late Friday night and into Saturday at the It’s About Liberty conservative forum and you can find that part of the story here.

This story has only just begun and it will have an Obama stink to it forever.

trapeze on April 17, 2011 at 6:10 PM

trapeze on April 17, 2011 at 6:00 PM

There was another issue with Absolute Poker, Trapeze. stldave summed it up nice. I was playing AP at the time, and there was lots of chatter about it.

Neo-con Artist on April 17, 2011 at 6:07 PM

You are right about Absolute. The thread title at 2+2 is “Ultimate Bet Scandal” and it does include the cheating that went on at Absolute as well. I never played at Absolute but did play at Ultimate Bet. They were owned by the same person.

My mistake.

trapeze on April 17, 2011 at 6:20 PM

trapeze on April 17, 2011 at 6:20 PM

No prob. The AP instance is interesting just b/c of the stupidity of the “Superuser”. Otherwise, it may not have been uncovered. Also,it’s interesting that both of these issues occurred with (essentially) the same group of companies. I need read through your link b/c it sounds like more detective work was performed.

Neo-con Artist on April 17, 2011 at 6:30 PM

The detective work was amazing. As I said, it would make a good movie.

trapeze on April 17, 2011 at 6:40 PM

Actually, so would a movie about the horrendous corruption of this WH regime. Makes Nixon look like a piker.

trapeze on April 17, 2011 at 6:41 PM

trapeze on April 17, 2011 at 6:40 PM

wow – lot’s of data in that thread. Interesting the AP issue was wrapped up as part of the overall issue, and helped to shed even more light.

Funny too b/c these sites tried to stonewall guys with an advanced understanding of statistics, and much of the information is available through hand histories (and such).

There’s a reason why UB and AP are not bigger players in the marketplace, and these scandals are sure to have played a part. I left shortly after the scandal broke, and have never been back. That’s the nice thing about the marketplace… you work over the customers, they tend to reciprocate in spades (okay, pun intended). With that said, I think most players would like some uniformity in regulation – just to make sure things are on the up-and-up. But, an out-and-out barring is way over the top…

Neo-con Artist on April 17, 2011 at 7:11 PM

But, an out-and-out barring is way over the top…
Neo-con Artist on April 17, 2011 at 7:11 PM

After what happened with AP and Ultimate you’d hope the owners of the sites would know that any lack of integrity in the mechanics of the game spells death. What I’m seeing, (on the Federal level), is “another game”, namely big money and political influence that’s not on the up-and-up. Of course, I’d probably throw in pocket aces against a name like Neo-con Artist…. :)

Rovin on April 17, 2011 at 7:38 PM

What we are seeing here is the opening move in a takeover. Similar to what happened to GM and Chrysler except with criminal indictments. Similar in that assets are seized and the whole thing will be turned over to political cronies.

Then the real money laundering will begin.

trapeze on April 17, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Of course, I’d probably throw in pocket aces against a name like Neo-con Artist…. :)

Rovin on April 17, 2011 at 7:38 PM

My bankroll would be most appreciative if more of you would toss pocket aces… :P

Neo-con Artist on April 17, 2011 at 8:29 PM

trapeze on April 17, 2011 at 8:13 PM

I find it humorous (in the way that if you don’t laugh, you may end up crying), that the government was using the banks to “police” these wire issues. You know, the same banks that generate significant amounts of revenue from playing both sides of various financial transactions (kind of like the sports book at your nearest casino), and develop increasing complex financial transactions through derivatives (aka “bets”) and derivative markets (akin to casinos). But, the government had the foresight to exclude these “wagers” from enforcement.

Neo-con Artist on April 17, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Yes, but the government is already getting a cut of the banking action. Not so with online poker.

trapeze on April 17, 2011 at 9:21 PM

The Obowma wildcard? He is a joker.

dthorny on April 17, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Yes, but the government is already getting a cut of the banking action. Not so with online poker.

trapeze on April 17, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Yep – The government has to have its paws in everything…

Reagan was right… it’s time to starve the beast. Just wish the GOP had the stones to do it…

Neo-con Artist on April 17, 2011 at 10:31 PM

The reelect campaign’s attempt to woo social conservatives.

curved space on April 18, 2011 at 6:16 AM

“Money Laundering” is the legal crudgel used by the Justice Department to destroy the internet poker companies. I seriously doubt that those guys pose the same threat to national Security as the CAIR execs who recently got a “get out of jail free card” from Eric Holder for their terror financing/money laundering charges.
see: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/did-obama-and-holder-scuttle-terror-finance-prosecutions/

BigAlSouth on April 18, 2011 at 7:15 AM

It’s not an overwhelming community, but there are thousands of winning online poker players who are in the process of leaving the United States to be able to continue to play the game they make their living at.

Sumeet on April 18, 2011 at 4:11 PM