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Even Kids Know Poker Payment Processor Might be Breaking Law

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jul/19/2009

Perspective Weekly's J. Todd should be a comedian.  This week's Perspective's Weekly report has Mr. J. Todd teaching a bunch of 9-year olds about online gambling.  Today's lesson reviewed a law suit filed by Accounting Service Corporation, which more than a week ago filed a legal action seeking to have it's $14 million in frozen funds returned by the US Government.  The US Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York order the $14 million and another $25 million plus froze via seizure affidavits sent to specified banks including Wachovia on two separate occasions last month.  Gambling911.com has filed a "Motion to Intervene" in order to have the warrants and other court documents in question unsealed.  The US Government was to respond to this Motion today while a hearing is set for next Monday to determine whether these court documents will be unsealed. 

One astute child asked the million dollar question (or in this case the $14 million question). 

"Doesn't the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) make sending money to online poker sites illegal?"

J. Tood seemed all too proud of his young pupil.

"That's a very good question," Mr. Todd said.  "And you're right.  The UIGEA does make it illegal for banks to send money back and forth to online poker rooms.  I don't know how Accounting Services Corporation plans to fight that part of the law but we're going to keep watching."

Assistant US Attorney, Arlo Devlin-Brown has already suggested in a letter sent to one bank that the investigation in question focuses in "potential money laundering".  The payment processors in question appeared to be working exclusively with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker as no other online poker rooms were affected by this action. 

The Poker Players Alliance, a grass roots operation claiming over a million members which this past week filed an Amicus Brief on behalf of those affected in this case, continues to insist that poker is "a game of skill" and on those grounds "should be legal".

"Poker is legal," said one Gambling911.com source close to the situation at hand.  "It's not legal to transmit money across state lines for gambling."

Poker players are not necessarily breaking any laws.  They are in fact excluded from prosecution by the UIGEA.  Banks and online poker operators could be in violation however. 

While Account Services Corporation has received praise for filing its action, the odds of this company moving forward remain quite low all things considered.  Then again, nobody would have expected a payment processor dealing with online poker firms to fight back either.

Every other online gambling interest before them has ultimately caved in and paid steep fines, including the industry's largest processor, Neteller. 

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher         

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