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Breaking: Baltimore Sting Operation Never Intended to Seize Domains

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
May/24/2011
Baltimore Sting Operation

Gambling911.com is learning that the US Attorney’s Office out of Baltimore decided to seize domains belonging to Bookmaker.com and BetED.com only after the US Attorneys Office out of the Southern District of New York did so on April 15.  A number of website domains associated with Bookmaker.com, including FunTimeBingo.com, DoylesRoom.com and True Poker, were also seized. 

“They only wanted to seize the funds,” a source tells Gambling911.com.

And, as we are learning, they wanted to seize the funds of Absolute Poker, but New York’s actions on April 15 ultimately caused such plans to come to a screeching halt. 

Grandiose plans called for the processing of PokerStars and Full Tilt, but only Absolute Poker was lured into the trap. (correction:  PokerStars, not PartyPoker, was the company the feds in Baltimore were hoping to process for).

The Baltimore feds set up an elaborate scheme whereby they set up a “phony” payment solutions company that handled $33 million in funds for the online gambling enterprises. 

The indictments were issued just days after the April 15 action in New York but only unsealed on Monday. 

Gambling911.com is also learning that there will be no arrests related to the Baltimore case and there is potential for return of some confiscated domains.

The Bookmaker group only transferred under $100,000 with the set up payment solutions outfit. 

Bookmaker set up new domain addresses immediately following the Baltimore press release (Bookmaker.ag). 

There are unconfirmed reports that BetED.com could be closing as a result of the indictments.  We are learning that one of the indicted principals of BetED has just undergone surgery. 

As part of its nearly five-year investigation, the Baltimore office has not discriminated between poker, online casino and sports betting sites.  In the past it has attempted to take actions against Bodog.com and Golden Palace, which is an online casino site. 

The Baltimore investigation is widely believed to be winding down.

There is also news that Republicans, long against legalized online gambling, are creating their own bill in Congress to legalize the activity. 

- Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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