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Gambling expert argues online poker indictments by onlineprnews


									Gambling expert argues online poker indictments
  Summary: Leading authority on gambling and the gaming law argues about April’s online
  poker indictments by the FBI and the shutting down of US poker sites. He declares that
  the Department of Justice has been waging a war of intimidation, because there is neither
  a federal statute to make the activity illegal, nor any extradition treaty to bring the
  defendants to US soil.
Online PR News – 26-April-2011 In a recent interview, one of the world’s leading authorities on
gambling and the gaming law argues about the reasons behind the April 15th online poker
indictments by the FBI and the shutting down of the four major US online poker sites. Professor I.
Nelson Rose is an internationally known public speaker and expert witness (including the first
NAFTA tribunal on gaming issues), currently a Distinguished Senior Professor at Whittier Law
School .

Professor Rose questioned the motivation and strength of the Department of Justice (DOJ)
accusations. He started by declaring, “The timing of these indictments is suspect. The grand jury has
been meeting for at least one year and on the indictment itself, it is dated March 10th, but they did
not release it until April 15th. Why now, what has happened?”

He continued, “There was a lot of movement in March and April to legalize Internet poker in
particular. Two Nevada regulators approved the deal between Ceasars and 888 and then Steve
Wynn announced a deal with Pokerstars. I think what is going on, at least part of this, is the
Department of Justice has been waging a war of intimidation, quite successfully, to scare the
players, operators, affiliates, and payment processors into not doing business in the United States.”

As online poker is not illegal in the United States, the DOJ is using the term ‘fraud’ as a scary word.
But two important ingredients are missing to make a good prosecution according to Professor Rose:
“You have to have a good statute to make the activity illegal and you have to have a defendant who
is physically present in the United States.”

The problem for the DOJ is that the main federal anti-gambling statute, the ‘Wire Act’, only applies to
sports betting and horse races. Now they are looking for other statutes such as the ‘Organized
Crime Control Act’. But it remains to be seen if this Act or any other Federal Act can be used in this

With respect to the physical presence in the US, all operators are overseas and there are no good
extradition treaties in place with the countries involved, such as the Isle of Man or Antigua. And
even if there were, no government will extradite someone for conducting the business they license
them for.
Regarding the frauds, the operators are accused of using payment processors while lying to the
banks about the true nature of their transactions. The DOJ claims that they tricked the banks into
making money, but none of the banks has ever been charged since the inception of the UIGEA in

From the players point of view the good news is that the money was frozen, which means it did not
disappear. And the DOJ announced that pokerstars and full tilt are allowed to send their money
back to all their US players. Meanwhile smaller operators like Carbon Poker continue to offer poker
games in America.

Media Information
Name      : Paul Martin
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