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U.S. Government Freezes More than $30 Million in Online Poker Funds

Law, 2009-06-10, by Ozone

A huge story is developing in the online poker world. It has been confirmed that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the seizure of three bank accounts connected to online poker sites. In total, as much as $33 million has been seized that could affect as much as 24,000 customers of U.S. facing poker rooms such as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.

Players affected by this seizure processed cashouts over a one-week period in late May and early June.

This action by the DOJ is the first of significance since political power shifted hands in Washington last fall, and thus serves as a rude awakening to players who believed a new administration would be a positive stride for the game. This also marks the first time the DOJ has targeted a poker-only enterprise. Previously, their movements were against payment processors or online gaming firms that service a niche like sports betting or casino games.

Although the money seized in this event is a fairly paltry amount when compared with the size of the online poker market, it could have very a damaging impact to the game. Just by placing the smallest doubt in the minds of customers that their funds are not safe in U.S. facing online poker rooms, there could be a ripple effect on par with the UIGEA in terms of how much it devastates online poker.

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