US Online Poker – the Battle Continues

US Online Poker – the Battle Continues

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The recent seizure of over $30,000,000 by the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York was, ironically, the opportunity that pro-poker activists in the US – including the Poker Players’ Alliance – had been waiting for.

The PPA have, for obvious reasons, been relishing the opportunity to fight in court the argument that poker is a skill game – after all, it is lead by a lawyer who has earned millions of dollars playing skilled poker; Greg Raymer.

However, it appears that when the SDNY indicted Canadian resident Douglas Rennick, the PPA will not be able to participate – Rennick has been charged with bank fraud conspiracy; since he said his companies would be processing rebate and affiliate deposits when in fact it was online gambling payments. In other words, the charges have nothing to do with poker.

“It doesn't even give you the opportunity to get into a debate on the status of Internet poker,” Interactive Media, Entertainment & Gaming Association chairman Joe Brennan Jr. said. “Whether Internet poker is legal or not is almost inconsequential when you have a processor lying about where the money is coming from.”

"We think it's an underhanded move by the (Department of Justice) to get away from actually having a hearing and a trial on the facts," PPA chairman John Pappas said. "I think the odds that (Rennick) will appear and that there will be a trial are very slim. We think this move was tactical by the DOJ to avoid pushing forward with a trial on the merits of whether poker is a lawful game."

In a show of great customer service often seen by such quality sites, both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker refunded the seized funds to players as well as imparting free bonuses into their accounts.

Tags: Poker News, US, Online, Poker, , the, Battle, Continues