Friday, May 15, 2011 an indictment was unsealed against certain “Founders” of the three major (by market share) Internet Poker Sites. The indictment charges 11 individuals with a variety of felonies, including Money Laundering, and Bank Fraud. At least two of the three sites, PokerStars.com and Fulltiltpoker.com have suspended real money play from players in the U.S. Two of the 11 defendants were arrested Friday and 9 are at large. The indictment goes to the heart of the claims that “poker is a game of skill and not a game of chance” and therefore is legal under U.S. law. Some of the defendants have stated that they will defend against the charges. Regardless of the outcome of the criminal case, the indictment may have already served to severely damage the companies whose founders are the defendants and here is why.
First, U.S. real money play is effectively done for the time being in the U.S., pending state or federal legislation which would legalize the activity. Payouts to players have been suspended. This means that players deposits may be trapped until a mechanism is found to release their money. The method may ultimately be complicated by forfeiture actions of the U.S. and actions of the IRS, discussed below.
Second, the affiliate system which may have been viable business for some web entrepreneurs will surely be affected. Affiliates should not expect payouts from the sites, again, because of the actions of the U.S.
Please see full article below for more information.
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