I think for the rest of the world players it really depends if the US officials have been able to freeze the account that holds the players funds. If so, I still think the money will be safe, but it could take an awfullly long time to sort it all out.
The indictment itself is seriously damning as well and goes into great detail about the money laundering/banking fraud, well worth a read if you're interested. Based on the info in the indictent it's hard to see how they would stand any chance of arguing their way out of it -
I don't think it's that cut and dry. FT and PS have all along hinged their presence in the US market on their belief that online poker does not constitute illegal gambling under US federal law (as opposed to sports betting, which is without a doubt illegal). To be convicted of money laundering, the money supposedly laundered has to be from illegal activity. If it's not illegal activity, it's not money laundering even if you are not forthcoming about what the money is from (according to a lawyer on another forum, I'm no expert myself).
Another thing is that these processing accounts were owned by third party processors, not the sites themselves. So it could be that PS/FT/AP/UB themselves can escape many of the charges.
Yes I see your point. The 'damning' part for me I think was the long list of dodgy sounding websites that they'd used to process payments to avoid being labelled as gambling related... but like you say if the underlying law wasn't broken then legally it doesn't matter what company names they used to process the payments (unless the wire fraud charges are still applicable).
Well hey ho another day, another Full Tilt client update! Nothing changes there then although I couldn't update the client I had installed probably because of the problems with the domain being nuked. Downloaded the FTP installer from the UK domain, ran that and it seems to have updated the original client I had and I can now access the cashier pages OK (though still can't withdraw, unable to process this transaction at this time or something like that trying to w/d via moneybookers).
Pokerstars and FullTilt have now had to refuse all US players from playing for cash - hopefully they wont have problems withdrawing.
Pokerstars are now using the EU version of their domain name.
In a world this fucked-up the FBI have nothing better to do than go after poker sites?
I see your point but I think I remember a story about New York where a new mayor came in and instead of going after the drug lords and organised crime bosses, he went after the small timers, windscreen washers, pimps, etc and the rate of organised crime dropped significantly....and then he was able to get the mafia bosses.
Now, maybe this was just a movie or maybe it wasn't New York but we don't know the reasons for the FBI going after poker sites.
How many people use these poker sites? What is the £ throughput per day? How much money could be laundered or transferred from the axis of evil into operatives in the US without arousing too much suspicion? Take down the petty criminals and the big guns will fall as well.
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if you go to http://www.fulltiltpoker.co.uk you can download and log back in if you cant get the update. I can see my balance and got a message that non US people can still play and US people cant play real cash right now but our balances are safe. There are so many theories and so much talk about this right now who knows what the end result will be. A lot of panic out there. It will probably all work out ok. weird how this comes after the US just passed something on the lines of allowing gambling in our nations capital. Our country is funny at times.
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