Fire Pay Pay's Out to New York State D.A. $19.2
by Devon Chappell, News Staff Writer
November 6, 2009
With its recent seizure of $19.2 million, the U.S.
District Attorney for the Southern District of New York
looks as if it is winning to race between Kentucky and
Louisiana for "procuring" the most revenue from
company's doing business in the U.S. facing online
Helping to put an end to the popular online gambling
eWallet, Neteller, The New York D.A. has now effectively
snuffed out the wick of FirePay - another very popular
eWallet service with online gamblers in the States and
elsewhere in the world.
Owned by the Optimal Group Inc., FirePay has
apparently handed over $19.2 million in revenue that has
been linked with online gambling related wagers made by
citizens in New York State. Even with FirePay backing
out of the U.S. market shortly after the UIGEA went into
law in late 2006, New York says they are owed money from
wages made between 2004 and 2006.
Another case of "pay up or be prosecuted", and what
many people are calling bullying tactics by the New York
D.A., the agreement now clears FirePay from any criminal
wrongdoing. However, as part of the agreement, Optimal
Group agreed to attest that operators using the FirePay
service - namely online poker rooms, sports books and
online casinos - knew what they were doing was illegal.
This could effectively mean more prosecution threats
by the New York D.A., as well as billions more in seized
funds. But with current waves in Congress scrutinizing
legislation that would overturn the UIGEA with more
effective regulations to tax online casinos and ensure
protection for players and minors, New York State might
have no choice but to cool it down.
In the meantime, an increasing number of online
casinos and betting site operators are simply choosing
not to do business with residents of New York - even
though the reality is that it's still relatively easy
for New Yorkers to gamble online.