Three Largest Online Poker Sites PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker Indicted & Shut Down by FBI
THE FBI GOES ”ALL IN” against on-line gambling … Is this the end of online Poker?
The FBI has indicted the founders of three of the largest online poker sites and charges executives with PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker with bank fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors are seeking to immediately shut down the sites in an effort to recover $3 billion from the companies.
New York prosecutors say they’ve issued restraining orders against more than 75 bank accounts in 14 countries used by the poker companies, which they say will interrupt the illegal flow of billions of dollars, according to The Associated Press.
The founders of the three largest online poker sites were indicted on Friday in what could serve as a death blow to a thriving industry.
Eleven executives at PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and a number of their affiliates were charged with bank fraud and money laundering in an indictment unsealed in a Manhattan court. Two of the defendants were arrested on Friday morning in Utah and Nevada. Federal agents are searching for the others.
Prosecutors are seeking to immediately shut down the sites and to eventually send the executives to jail and to recover $3 billion from the companies. By Friday afternoon Full Tilt Poker’s site displayed a message explaining that “this domain name has been seized by the F.B.I. pursuant to an Arrest Warrant.”
What will Americans do with themselves seeing that online poker gambling has become all the rage? After all, its not like ESPN has not made the World Series of Poker a staple program and has drawn many to the online gaming industry complete with the top poker stars all endorsed by the sites that the FBI has taken down. The Daily What brings up a good point that we were wondering as well, what happens to the large amount if money that were in users accounts?
Interesting updates at Thoughts of a Microstakes Grinder:
UPDATE I: Reaction from the Poker Players Alliance.
“On behalf of the millions of poker players across the country, we are shocked at the action taken by the U.S. Department of Justice today against online poker companies and will continue to fight for Americans’ right to participate in the game they enjoy. Online poker is not a crime and should not be treated as such. We are currently gathering all of the information around today’s announcement and will offer detailed analysis when the full facts become available.”
UPDATE II: I, like Moe Lane, do not participate in online poker nor did I really give it much thought. However, I really do not see the issue with those that do partake in it. This should be a wake up call to the Libertarians who think that Conservatives are more their enemy than Liberals. Not even close. As Moe Lane stated, “the true opposite of a libertarian viewpoint is always going to be a liberal one…”.
Will this be an underlying political foolish move on the part of the Obama? Any one care to make a wager?