16 April 2011 at 2:37 pm #7499gamblenomore64Participant
Some very encouraging news in the fight against online gambling, especially for those living in the US.
The owners of three major online poker sites have been charged for a range of offenses in a crackdown on online gambling by US authorities.
In total, eleven people have been charged with bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling offences, according to charges unsealed on Friday. Additionally, the US filed a civil money laundering complaint against the poker companies, their assets and the assets of secondary payment processors that the companies used.
Three of the 11 charged are the owners of Pokerstars, Full Tilt and Absolute Poker. The three sites are all based outside of the US, in the Isle of Man, Ireland and Costa Rica, respectively.
Full article, go here.
I think this is very encouraging because for the past decade, the online poker industry has poured millions of dollars into slick marketing and PR campaigns, attempting to legitimize poker as a "skill" game, even a "sport." The growing epidemic of youth addiction to online poker is well documented. Online forms of gambling are especially dangerous and insideous because of the ease and anonymity afforded players. This US indictment represents a significant, long overdue blow to this parasitic industry. The FBI and Department of Justice have seized the domain names of the accused sites, which has effectively halted all cash game play within the USA, and frozen financial transactions. I say long overdue because the US passed a law in 2006 prohibiting online gambling, and the big companies have been flaunting that law, allegedly breaking it ever since – in a very significant way.
Anecdotally, this seizure could save or dramatically change lives as addicts who rely on online poker for their fix will be forced to stop activity and reflect.
For me, the number one issue in my struggle with gambling has been access. When the casino in my city closed down and moved just a few miles to the next town, my gambling habits changed significantly. I essentially stopped playing. Online gambling truly is the crack cocaine of gambling and any move to limit its access is a welcome move, as far as I’m concerned.
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