Jan 6 2011
The recent enforcement of the 2006 UIGEA against online gambling transactions delivered a major blow to the online poker industry last month when eWalletXpress was forced to shut down their US operations. Over the past few days, the feds dealt another massive strike to the online poker world by seizing $8 million in online poker bankroll funds in Washington State.
According to the stipulations imposed by the UIGEA, it is unlawful for banks to process transactions dealing with online gambling. Unfortunately, due to confusion among legislators regarding whether poker is a game of chance or a skill game, online poker is fully included in this legislation. As a result of recent enforcement of the UIGEA, many Washington poker players are now wondering why their bankrolls have suddenly evaporated.
Forbes Magazine, the popular financial monthly that has been covering a surprising amount of news regarding the recent legal controversies over online poker, has reported that cash residing in the accounts of poker players at JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, SunTrust, Chase and Bank of America has been seized. Bank of America has been hit hardest, with a total of $5.1 million in poker funds seized thus far.
The feds are targeting banks that have accepted payments from payment processors including Secure Money, Arrow Checks, Anaya Trading Solutions, Etegrity Processing and Blue Lake Logistics. If your poker site of choice uses any of those firms to process deposits or withdrawals, consider yourself warned.
The beginning of the seizure dates back to June, when a federal task force officer received a tip from an individual stating that he’d received a payment from Arrow Checks for online poker winnings. Federal investigators are now examining the activity of financial transactions at sites including UB, Absolute POker, Poker Stars and Full Tilt. The investigations thus far have apparently been limited to Washington State.
If you’re an online poker player residing in Washington State, now might be a good time to make a large withdrawal. If your bankroll hasn’t been confiscated already, this may be your last chance.