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 Post subject: FML, Sky is Falling
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:35 pm 
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http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/ ... SF20110415

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Internet gambling sites owners charged with fraud
3:58pm EDT
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The owners of three of the largest Internet poker companies operating in the United States were accused on Friday of tricking regulators and banks into processing billions of dollars of illegal Internet gambling proceeds.
Eleven people, including the owners of Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and PokerStars, were charged with violating U.S. anti-Internet gambling laws, according to charges filed by federal prosecutors in Manhattan.
Prosecutors also filed civil money laundering charges seeking to recover at least $3 billion from the companies, which are all based overseas, court documents said.
The Internet domain names of the companies were also seized. Representatives for the companies could not immediately be reached to comment on the charges.
Two of the men were arrested on Friday, one is expected to turn himself in to law enforcement and eight others are not currently in the United States, prosecutors said.
Raymond Bitar, 39, of Full Tilt Poker and Isai Scheinberg, 64, of PokerStars were charged with violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and other laws. Absolute Poker owners Brent Beckley, 31, and Scott Tom, 31, faced similar charges.
The criminal charges outlined a scheme by the company owners and some of their employees to direct the gambling profits to online shell companies that would appear legitimate to banks processing payments.
The charges are part of a crackdown on Internet gambling in the United States, where it has been illegal since 2006.
In March, Wynn Resorts Ltd said it had entered into a partnership with PokerStars, and that they would work for passage of U.S. legislation on Internet poker.
U.S. lawmakers have in the past tried to pass legislation legalizing Internet gambling in the hope of reaping billions in tax revenue.
(Reporting by Basil Katz; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)


Lucky for me, I stopped using poker as 100% of my income in November and stopped using it as the majority of my income a month ago. But, this was still a significant source of income for me.

Maybe the government will finally regulate this and stop making it super tough to withdraw funds.

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 Post subject: Re: FML, Sky is Falling
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:25 pm 
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Thats crazy. I played a little bit online a while ago. I'm pretty sure I have like $50 on one of those sites...

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:49 pm 
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abc789987 wrote:
Thats crazy. I played a little bit online a while ago. I'm pretty sure I have like $50 on one of those sites...


Yeah. Completely out if nowhere. I mean there's always some sort of obstacle. To its legality. But this was out if the blue.

I'm lucky that its not my livelihood anymore, but I have dozens of friends "out of a job" now.

Apparently some 23yo Aussie was caught running several dirty payment processors. Facing prison, he gave up the biggest three poker sites.

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 Post subject: Re: FML, Sky is Falling
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:15 am 
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I got screwed over on some car parts on craigslist by a guy that played poker online for a living. I hope this fucked him over at least. :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: FML, Sky is Falling
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:41 am 
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That really sucks. I haven't gotten into the poker thing, but I do love the sportsbooks, especially now that baseball season has rolled around.

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 Post subject: Re: FML, Sky is Falling
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:03 pm 
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I thought all this was made illegal years ago? :?:

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 Post subject: Re: FML, Sky is Falling
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:28 pm 
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goon attack wrote:
I thought all this was made illegal years ago? :?:


Nope, that was a myth. The UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) was passed in 2008 by piggy-backing it on the Port Security Act which every politician absolutely had to vote for if they wanted to be re-elected. The UIGEA made it illegal for a bank to process a transaction that funded an illegal online gambling account.

The law made it illegal for a bank to process it, but nothing against the player for supplying the funds. The UIGEA did not prevent cashouts from occuring, only money being deposited. Additionally, with the exception of Washington state there was no law prohibiting the play of online poker. It was only illegal for a bank to process the outgoing transactions. In January, the Supreme Court upheld a law making it a felony to play online poker in Washington. Within a week Poker Stars and Full Tilt stopped allowing players from there to play.

There is a gray area about the UIGEA though. It is only illegal for a bank to fund an ILLEGAL online gambling site. The inclusion of the word illegal implies that funding a legal online gambling site would be acceptable. There has been a ton of legislation and court cases about whether poker falls under the UIGEA. Senator Bill Frist (R-KY) introduced the bill with the intention of outlawing online horse race betting to protect race tracks like The Kentucky Derby. Poker was not the intended target of the bill, but anti-online poker lobbyists used it as leverage. It never has been officially decided whether online poker is legal (although, the indictments of 11 poker site owners last Friday probably indicates where it was going).

Ultimately, Harrah's, who is the biggest supporter of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), is likely to benefit from this. In December, they tried to pass a bill to regulate online poker after a 15 month "blackout" period. If that bill passed, sites could apply for a license to legally offer online poker after 15 months. Harrah's would have gotten a license, but PS and FTP might not have. The blackout period was a safeguard against PS and FTP being established whereas Harrah's would have started from scratch. Now that PS and FTP are shutdown, there are rumors that Harrah's will have a site within three months as no blackout period is necessary to give them an edge on the market.

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 Post subject: Re: FML, Sky is Falling
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:32 pm 
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big d note wrote:
I got screwed over on some car parts on craigslist by a guy that played poker online for a living. I hope this (Frank) him over at least. :evil:


That sucks. While it is, by far, the minority, I know of scores of scumbags like that. Over time, I've probably had ~5K stolen from me cumulatively with staking deals gone wrong and/or loaning money to somebody I shouldn't have loaned to. I take solace in the fact that I'm in a better spot than they are, even after they stole my money. Money comes and goes. Dignity doesn't.

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