Category: Gambling and Poker
This will be it for the blogging today. Feeling a little under the weather.
The feds may not be able to arrest people for gambling online (technically, it isn’t illegal), but it looks like they plan to make life pretty difficult for them. From the Wall Street Journal:
In an apparent crackdown on Internet gambling, federal authorities in New York have frozen or seized bank accounts worth $34 million belonging to 27,000 online poker players, according to representatives for the players and account holders.
In an operation that began last week, the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York froze or issued seizure orders for bank accounts in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Arizona held at Wells Fargo, Citibank, Goldwater Bank and Alliance Bank of Arizona.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office had no comment.
The accounts are managed by Allied Systems Inc., and Account Services, which handle cash for popular online poker sites, including Full Tilt Poker, Poker Stars, Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker. Though the money belongs to the poker players, it is held for them in accounts managed by the two service companies.
Account Services, which had an account worth $15 million frozen in its San Francisco bank, doesn’t accept deposits, but writes checks to players who are cashing out, said lawyer for the company, Jeff Ifrah. As a result, thousands of players receiving checks from the company won’t be able to cash them, he said.
In the last week, the major poker sites have also shut down some of the main mechanisms for U.S. players to make deposits.
Earlier today, I linked to a story about a charity poker game in Maine raided by the state police. The police seized $500 that would have otherwise gone toward stocking a food co-op.
Here’s part of an email from an Agitator reader who wishes to remain anonymous:
I went to the TV station’s web-site and viewed the video report. How ridiculous have our federal and local government agencies become?
Well long story short, I called Mrs. Groder and let her know I am going to mail her a $500.00 check on Monday. I also called the TV station to tell them my intentions. I’m not looking for any PR out of this donation . . . I just want them to know at least someone cares a little bit about freedom and liberty.. and that both go hand in hand with volunteer charity.
Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-Mass.) online gambling bill appears to be gaining some momentum.
It’s unfortunate that it takes the promise of tax revenue for the federal government to respect individual freedom. But I suppose that’s the reality of things.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s (R-Horseracing) quote in the article is bizarre. Somehow, we shouldn’t legalize Internet gambling because . . . Tim Geithner didn’t pay his taxes. Sure, Bob. When I debated Goodlatte about online gambling on CNBC a few years ago, he weirdly tried to tie the issue to Jack Abramoff (weird because Goodlatte and the GOP leadership ended up passing the very bill Abramoff lobbied for).
The guy pretty obviously knows he has a losing argument. Which is why he’d rather invoke bogeymen and lame partisan zingers than actually discuss the issue.