Two weeks ago, in a surprise move, the Federal Bureau of Investigation shut down the websites of three online poker sites: PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker. Money laundering and bank fraud are the issues at hand — so says the FBI.
Internet Cards Games Outlawed In 2006, But Sites Still Operated
Although the U.S. government effectively banned Internet poker in 2006, the major online gaming sites found loopholes. For years, the feds accepted the arrangement, mainly because the sites were based overseas (PokerStars is in the Isle of Man; Full Tilt Poker in Ireland). However, all the while, online poker sites routinely advertised on U.S. television.
Online Poker Black Friday: The Day The Feds Shuttered Online Gaming
But on “Black Friday” — everything changed. The U.S. government shut down all Internet poker sites within the states. Players were pissed; would they get their money back!? [UPDATE: The players did, indeed, get their money back.]
The FBI intends to shut down poker sites and is seeking $3 billion in restitution. But this has created considerable backlash, especially among foreign countries that love online gambling revenues.
Antigua Is Angry About Black Friday Because It Relies On Gaming Revenue
Antigua and Barbuda is preparing to file a formal complaint against the United States with the World Trade Organization, claiming the prosecution is a protectionist measure that restrains trade.
Antigua is the home of Absolute Poker, one of the small Caribbean island’s biggest companies. Antigua is expected to lose a lot of tax revenue if the prosecution is upheld, prompting the appeal to the WTO.
Online Poker Attorney
Do you run an online poker website? Do you need legal advice about a related issue? If so, we may be able to help. If not, we probably know someone who can. So, give us a call to begin the conversation.