June 4, 2009 -
If you're an
active online poker player, you've probably heard by now that the popular
cash withdrawal service known as eCheck has been shut down. Heck, you may
even be owed some money. The last tally in frozen funds, apparently, is now
over $30 million. It started off with a seizure of $19 million from a bank
in Arizona and one in Los Angeles, and has now reached over the $30 million.
Who is doing
all this "money seizing" you ask? Not surprisingly, it's the U.S. Attorney
for the Southern District of New York State. That's right - the same
turkey's who attacked Neteller, resulting in a seizure of $60 million and a
big old spanking in the form of a $136 million fine. Basically, now that
another payment processor is doing well for itself by becoming the number
one choice for transferring funds for online wagering purposes, the New York
AG steps in to put an end to illegal activities under the 1969 Wire Act.
Never mind the millions of dollars to be gained. Of course it's not about
that, right? Right.
And yes, I did say the 1969 Wire Act. Can you believe all
this law enforcing is being done under the outdated legislation the Unlawful
Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was supposed to replace? I mean,
if that doesn't say something about the UIGEA, I don't know what does.
What's that you say? Barney Frank? Well, only time will tell if Congressman
Frank's new bill gets the support needed to finally regulate online gambling
in the U.S.
In the meantime, I guess it's the Wild Wild West in New
York. I guess if it's going to be an unregulated "grey" market where
everybody fends for their self, I suppose that gives the New York Attorney
the right to just freeze bank accounts and steal money, right? We all know
that isn't going to stop online gambling in the States. As fast as one
payment processor gets shut down, another starts up. And while it sucks that
many players are still waiting for their money, the fact of the matter is
that the online poker rooms offering eCheck, like Poker Stars, have more
money than the NY Attorney knows what to do with.
truly, Sweetie, is no U.S. online poker player. So, you're not going to hear
me complaining about not getting my eCheck. But the fact of the matter is
that players will get paid. The U.S. government will step in to freeze
things up, work out a deal to get their fare share, and the poker rooms will
still have plenty to pass round. That's how it goes folks. If you want your
government to regulate, write your Senator. In the meantime, there are
plenty of offshore regulated online casinos and poker rooms suited and
willing to allow U.S. citizens to gamble online.
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