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U.S. Government Seizes Online Bingo Site

1 August 2011 by admin

Seized_2011_05_BaltimoreIn the latest action against the online gambling industry by the U.S. federal government, a popular online bingo website was shut down over the weekend, with its domain seized. At this point, no indictments have been made public, but any customers who visit the old funtimebingo.com website will be greeted with a message eerily similar to the ones found on PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker on Black Friday.

Whereas the Black Friday domains were seized by the FBI, in this case it was seized by ICE. The website says that the domain name “has been seized by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations, Office of the Special Agent in Charge, Baltimore, MD.” According to the page, the online bingo domain was seized “in accordance with a warrant obtained with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.” The message also says that it is “unlawful to conduct an illegal gambling business in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1955(d).”

According to 18 U.S. Code – Section 1955, a business is considered an “illegal gambling business” if it is in “violation of the law of a state or political subdivision in which it is conducted.” There is no federal law prohibiting online bingo. Therefore, for FuntimeBingo’s business to be illegal, it must have operated in a state, city or county that banned bingo or online gambling. At this point, it is not known if that is the case.

When the .com domain was seized by the feds, FuntimeBingo responded by opening their website on a new domain. The new site can be found at funtimebingo.ag. The .ag domain is a domain associated with Antigua. FuntimeBingo says they are “the world’s number one online bingo” site.

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