Online Poker Gambling on Poker Stars, Others, Halted & Seized by US Government
on April 15th online poker playing giants Poker Stars, Poker Room, and Absolute Poker have been shut down and their domain names seized by the United States Department of Justice and have been endicted. Bank fraud charges were also presented. Washington D.C. is talking about opening up native poker sites as well that would be thoroughly regulated as more and more laundering services transferring funds to offshore poker organizations continue to be frozen.
On the fifteenth of April in 2011 Poker Stars posted the following statement about their operations in the United States: “On 15 April 2011, PokerStars ceased providing real-money poker to residents of the United States and related territories. Real money play and deposits by US residents are strictly prohibited.” This sudden seizure of the domain was a major blow to the biggest poker sites in the world and the players that frequented the site.
While poker is an American game that is available for play in many brick and mortar locations around the United States. However Congress outlawed online gambling years ago and many Americans had been finding ways around this regulation. The Safe Port Act of 2006 is when this provision took place beginning in the House of Representatives which perceived damage to the land based gambling association because they feared a loss of competition.
National Public Radio reported on the closing of the three largest poker sites to United States access and operations on April 20th of 2011. An agreement is being worked out between executives and government to return funds to players who had money in their accounts.
The argument about the fairness and legality of online gambling ensued on the radio and in many newspapers across the country. Callers who felt the plug had been pulled on them said they were reminded of the illegitimacy act they had frequented. To a certain degree it seems the online poker industry were used to operated without being bothered and now the system has been shocked.
The regulation debate is now sparked by the millions of poker players online who no longer have poker to play. Expect the debate over this issue to become louder and more public as habitual players will no longer be able to do so.
ESPN television has pulled all poker programming that contained sponsorship from the three largest poker sites. The ratings for second run poker shows were better than second rate live sports events they replaced. The World Series of Poker will still air this fall as scheduled.