April 15th, 2011 at 5:40 PM ^

I really don't want this to turn ugly, but this is probably a decision that either Holder or Obama made based on political pressures or perceived pressures/future pressures.

There's a chance this was initiated at a lower level, in which case it could be a political pressure, or it could be someone at Justice wanting to take this case on for whatever reason.

OTOH it could be that they're going after a bank or something and this was incidental. I still would believe that prosecuting this was a pretty high-level decision based on more than the law that was violated.


April 15th, 2011 at 5:54 PM ^

I doubt political pressure had anything to do with this. The feds move very slowly on all fronts in order to make sure that the have dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's. With the money at play here and the large scale of it, this had to have taken years to gather all the evidence. I would be really worried if I was them and currently in our country (which they probably aren't). 


April 15th, 2011 at 5:56 PM ^

I think it was political pressure brought on by proposals in states to tax online gambling (CA and apparently DC have both tried moving towards this). I think the Feds want to stay out in front of states bringing in that revenue.

That's my best guess. Those proposals have been around for a while, it wouldn't exclude them dotting i's and crossing t's.


April 15th, 2011 at 7:32 PM ^

I think this has more to do with legalizing online gambling than this has to do with tax evasion or money laundering. I'm kind of wondering why they picked now too.

OTOH it could be incidental, looking at banks for other dealings. Or it could just be that Holder thinks this is a big case, where Mukasey didn't.


April 15th, 2011 at 6:19 PM ^

I'm not blaming you. In fact, I said I think the feds want to copy your (as a state) proposal.

CA wanted to tax internet gambling, going back years, the Feds just now seem to be looking in that direction. They don't want to be scooped by CA or another state, and that's why I think they're moving now.


April 15th, 2011 at 6:02 PM ^

(addressed to the government)

Just allow it to be legal you assholes. You don't stop people from betting on the ponies and shit, why should you care if people want to lose money to each other beyond Wall Street? Fuckers.


April 15th, 2011 at 6:03 PM ^

I love me some online poker and am discouraged by this news. But if it eventually leads to legalized online poker and an easier time receiving cash outs without the worry of when the next crack down will be, I'll take it. It just needs to start happening quickly.


April 15th, 2011 at 6:13 PM ^

Don't you just love it when the guys who gambled with trillions and lost get bailouts while people playing for chump change are hauled in?


April 15th, 2011 at 6:13 PM ^

So, if you're Phil Ivey, do you stay in the US and give up something like a $17 million income, or do you move overseas until the US stops being assholes about online poker?

OMG Shirtless

April 15th, 2011 at 6:20 PM ^

I'd move to a fancy Caribbean Island and set up shop.  I think Phil Ivey is even more unique than the standard famous pro, I think one of the vegas casinos sponsors him, named part of the poker room after him, and pays him an obscene amount of money to play in their poker room.

cooler 517

April 15th, 2011 at 9:01 PM ^

he is an alien, and doesn't require pants!  Plus, the object of poker is to take advantage of people who are worse at it than you.  People who try to prove this wrong, are why his salary is around 17 million, or whatever.

OMG Shirtless

April 15th, 2011 at 7:03 PM ^

To tell you the truth, I have absolutely no idea.  I'd guess one of those places movie stars and athletes go on vacation. St. Barths? Wherever that is.  Maybe they have their own islands.  All they really need is an internet connection.  I believe most of these poker sites are still up and running outside of the US.  


April 15th, 2011 at 6:53 PM ^

I'm sure this is partially due to the fact there has been fraud and coverup of online gambling from indian reservations and other places outside of the U.S.


April 15th, 2011 at 7:02 PM ^

Friend of mine was trying to talk me into going into the cash version of one of the sites earlier this week. Thank goodness I didnt decide to go signup. 

Unless theres some other legal issue going on, I agree that this is likely the federal governments first step before trying to make the online gambling legal. I'm more surprised it hasnt been brought up more recently since its just another revenue stream for the government if they can tax winnings. 


April 15th, 2011 at 7:11 PM ^

What about the money laundering? Is that a bogus charge from the government's agenda? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm just wondering why nobody has mentioned it yet. Money laundering is a huge deal if there is that much money involved and I don't see what that has to do with anyone's right to play online poker.


April 15th, 2011 at 7:28 PM ^

Should have been more specific. PokerStars has locked out US-based players, the others haven't done so yet AFAIK. The big one, obviously, is Full Tilt while AP has a much smaller base of players.

But I'm assuming if PokerStars has locked out players, Full Tilt will follow along. Or, which I would like more, is PokerStars opening it back up if Full Tilt continues to allow US players to play.


April 15th, 2011 at 7:26 PM ^

Step 1: Lobbyist powered Nevada lays groundwork for their casino giants to enter online poker market if they get the go ahead from washington.

Step 2: Feds thoroughly destroy existing competition, then give the ok to Nevada 

Step 3: Profit

Step 4: PokerStars wishes they had better lobbyists



April 15th, 2011 at 9:33 PM ^

Instead of regulating and taxing it bringing in hundreds of millions in revenues, they pursue criminal charges.  I play the cash games here and there, usually the $5 tournaments for fun.  It is no different than a home game.  I had $120 in my PokerStars account and cashed out tonight as all US cash players are locked out.  Since there appears to be no chance this gets resolved I might as well try to get the money back.  We'll see if I get the money. 

This sucks donkey balls!


April 15th, 2011 at 10:49 PM ^

With gas prices going through the roof and unemployment still over nine percent I am just glad that priorities are in the right place. Get those damn online poker players!



April 16th, 2011 at 2:23 AM ^

"These defendants, knowing full well that their business with U.S. customers and U.S. banks was illegal, tried to stack the deck," said Janice Fedarcyk, FBI assistant director-in-charge. "They lied to banks about the true nature of their business. Then, some of the defendants found banks willing to flout the law for a fee. The defendants bet the house that they could continue their scheme, and they lost."

Quit trying to be funny and just do your fucking job.

That is all.