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DuplicatePoker.com Operating Online Poker Room from US?

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Sep/15/2008

It is illegal to operate an online poker room in the United States under the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act. Some companies, like PokerStars, tread around this law by operating their business outside the US though they still allow customers from within the States to play for "real cash".

DuplicatePoker.com has taken this one step further. They physically run their online poker room from - where else?....New York City, at least that‘s what their latest press release claims.

Duplicate Poker.com is a U.S. corporation operating a legal U.S. poker room with headquarters in NYC, and offices in Tel Aviv, Israel. Visit the next big thing in skill-based gaming at: www.duplicatepoker.com.

The company goes further to imply they are doing absolutely wrong in the face of the US Government.

"Duplicate Poker has the potential to be as popular as Texas Hold'Em, Omaha or 7-Card Stud," says Romik. "Yet unlike these games that have uncertain origins, we have patented the Duplicate Poker process and it has the potential to be marketed, licensed and monetized globally. Our legal status in the U.S. also offers a competitive advantage."

Is this arrogance or something we don't know about?

In the past, US and state law enforcement has actively pursued any online gambling operator they deemed to physically running all or part of their business from within the States.

Betcha.com owner, Nick Jenkins, was ultimately arrested for running an online gambling site within Washington State last year. He claimed the site was perfectly legal since his peer-to-peer business model never accepted a bet directly. Authorities saw things differently.


The site was run out of Seattle, Washington where online betting is a Class C felony. Washington officials shut down Jenkins' site within weeks of it opening to the public.

Over the last year, the US Government has aggressively set its sites on payment processors operating within the United States. Most recently, authorities seized millions of dollars from ZIP Payments, which had been conducting most of its business with BodogLife.com.

DuplicatePoker may be asking for trouble if indeed they are operating from within New York City. Long before the passage of the UIGEA in 1998, 21 online gambling operators were indicted. Partners in SBD Global (a separate operation from what is now SBG Global out of Costa Rica), including Internet gambling pioneer and author, Steve Budin, were among those indicted. SBD operated a marketing office on Wall Street at the time, much to the industry's surprise.

Law enforcement within the New York City area - both on the federal and local level - have been especially aggressive in pursuing parties involved in taking bets from US citizens. Until now the focus has been primarily on interstate sports betting mostly through the Queens DA's office and the Suffolk County DA's office.

And to be clear, DuplicatePoker.com admits to being a "real cash" online poker room. The company also gives clear instructions on how to deposit funds, which is clearly prohibited under the UIGEA.

"How does Duplicate Poker work? Players sitting at the same position at different tables are dealt the same cards. As a result, Duplicate Poker eliminates the luck of the draw and pits players' true poker skills against each other. DuplicatePoker.com offers both free play money and real money games. Real money players can deposit funds using Visa, MasterCard and PayPal."

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Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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