The US government is at it again. If you thought Black Friday on Friday, April 15, 2011 was the end of the Department of Justice’s indictments against online gambling sites operating illegally within the United States, you would be mistaken. Introducing the second and latest salvo in this brutal battle: Blue Monday, May 23, 2011, when the DOJ, with cooperation from the Department of Homeland Security and the IRS, charged three more people in connection with two online gambling companies covering a total of about 10 sites for violation of the 2006 UIGEA.
Just one day before the Poker Player’s Alliance descended on watching for the first National Poker Lobbying Day, the government gave them more to lobby about. Now in addition to Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stars, other online poker sites like Doyles Room Poker, online sportsbetting sites like Beted and online casinos like Golden Arch Casino will no longer be operating within US borders – that is, serving US customers. Instead, US customers browsing to those site will see what’s becoming increasingly familiar in the US online gambling scene: a message from the DOJ that the domain name for the site previously located there has heretofore has been seized.
The most recent indictments were all handed down in the District of Maryland where the two companies in question have the U.S. bases of operations. As part of this round of indictments are 11 bank accounts for which the government is currently seeking forfeiture. These are no doubt where US player funds from those sites are sitting, stuck, unable to be accessed by the rightful owners. Hopefully these monies will go the way of the Poker Stars player funds previously held up, which now are safely back in players’ hands.