Posts Tagged ‘frozen assets’

USA Online Gambling: Online Gambling Legal Despite UIGEA

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Bob Seger once said, “Knowledge is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don’t.” Such a thought can be applied to the many online casinos and poker websites that closed their doors to U.S. Citizens when the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) was passed. However, USA Online Gambling maintains that the UIGEA does not outlaw online gambling, but merely restricts the ways transactions took place between online casinos and players. Such a thing seems like a logical choice given Fedzilla’s insatiable appetite for seizing the funds of online gambling businesses. Still, many top online gambling sites have found a way to circumvent the giant lumbering federal government and continue their transactions.

USA Online Gambling, (usa-online-gambling.com), is a website dedicated to educating online casino providers and players alike on how to “read the fine print.” Founder of USA Online Gambling, Tracy Carter, states, “There is a long list of sites that have overcome the UIGEA regulations and an even longer list of supporters, which aim to get the act overturned. The list of 30+ supporters of online gambling includes prominent politicians and entertainment companies such as Congressmen Barney Frank and Ron Paul, Harrah’s Entertainment, The Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association and the World Trade Organization.”

The website provides a detailed analysis of what the UIGEA says and does not say. While the ultimate goal is to eventually overturn the act, but until that happens, the goal of the site is to let other know what the law “really says.”

“The fact that the government has attempted to make online gamling illegal is more than just an infringement on the rights of casinos to offer a service with massive entertainment value, but it is an infringement of the rights of players who want to enjoy online gambling from the comfort of their home. Overturning UIGEA would allow many casinos that left the U.S. Market to return, as well as increasing the number of payment and withdrawal methods. It is estimated that overturning the UIGEA and providing sites with a method of taxing sales would infuse the U.S. With over $50 billion in tax revenue within the next ten years. A number that would surely grow as online casinos were permitted to expand.” says Carter.

Company Challenges Federal Government Seizure of Online Poker Winnings

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

If there’s one thing that the United States Government is good at that isn’t war, it’s seizing money by force. Whether you call it “federal income tax” or “highway robbery,” there is nothing tastier to Fedzilla than money. Recently, over 30 million in assets was stolen frozen by the federal government.

Account Services Corp. of San Diego has requested that the federal government return $14 million that the firm says was illegally seized from online poker player accounts.

The Poker Players Alliance confirmed that the money is part of over $30 million in assets recently frozen by the federal government. The group told the Associated Press on Monday that it plans to file a motion with a court as well. “Any action contesting the government’s seizure of players’ funds will help protect the rights of U.S. Internet poker players and we will explore every legal avenue to ensure that out members’ voices are heard and their rights are protected,” said John Pappas, executive director of the alliance.

The filing by Account Services states that federal prosecutors seized $13.3 million from a Wells Fargo Bank account in Escondino California and an additional $1 million from a Union Bank in San Diego. Account services says that the Wells Fargo money seizure was accompanied by a warrant, the Union Bank funds were not. The warrant for Union Bank was issued two weeks later by U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman in New York City.

Account Services has said that if the money is not returned, it will most likely have to shut down. Such a thing would be ironic for the federal government, considering all of the money it has seized from taxpayers to keep failing banks and businesses from doing just that.

The Justice Department continues to maintain that online gambling is illegal, but Account Services disagrees. Jeff Ifrah, who represents the Interactive Gaming Council. “Poker players have been damaged significantly,” said Ifrah. “Some of the players face civil liability for bounced checks, some have had bank accounts closed.”

Estimates show that at least half of the $16 billion online gambling industry, though mostly hosted overseas, is funded by players in the United States.

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