By Tony George This is my opinion, not representation of the site it appears on.
If the recent seizure of 3 of the biggest online poker sites was not enough to set you back in your seat and take notice, the US Feds have seized more domain names in the online poker and sportsbook world this week, and I see no end in sight. Gambling online, as you know it, is now a thing of the past in its present form. Like booze prohibition back in the day, it will come back in a very regulated form at some point, but the days of betting $50 on the Jets on Monday Night football online are over.
The following domains were seized this week by the Federal Government:
Other Big named Books like BetUS for example, are no longer taking US clients, and getting your account cleared out at many of these is now virtually impossible. If you somehow get a western union or wire, claim it on your income taxes as gaming winnings this year. That’s right even if you had $3000 in losses and get a wire for $2500 from an offshore processor because that is what you had left in your account, you better claim it to be safe. All banks in the US are on notice, trust me on that one. Uncle Sam is not screwing around any longer ladies and gents, they are shutting it all down officially. Even though these books are operating to the letter of the law and following regulations in these third world countries they are located in, that bears NO meaning to the Feds. Federal laundering charges, felony wire and mail fraud and racketeering charges are going to be leveled against anyone inside of the US that is processing payments. That is the way I read it.
Of course many of these books are getting new domains and are suppose to be right back in action. My answer is tread lightly my friends. You are playing Russian Roulette with any funds you send them or are suppose to get from them. Last time I checked the Feds are not stupid and they mean business here. They have not wasted millions of tax payer dollars or thousands of man hours going after these guys, just to let them establish a new domain path and be right back in business the next day.
Are you Mad yet?
Your right to do what you want in the privacy of your own home in terms of online gaming or on a mobile device, is now 100 percent under siege. As I have stated in many blogs and articles for gaming sites over the past 2 years, if Uncle Sam cannot tax it, regulate and control it, and derive money from it, it is going to be illegal. That is how a democracy works.
The other way a democracy works is pressure from registered voters to elected officials to get something done about this and turn it around, and work out a solution that makes sense to Uncle Sam, which in essence is making sure the Feds get paid with taxes. You have no one to blame but yourself if you do not contact your elected officials in Washington and gripe. Barney Frank has introduced legislation more than once for online poker, but cannot gain steam or gets votes and support. Look it up and get active.
Height of Hypocrisy
The Feds back and regulate the state lotteries such as scratch tickets and Powerball. The biggest sucker bet on the planet. It is worth hundreds of millions in tax revenues yearly to state and federal coffers. They love the lottery system where the average Joe has NO chance of winning. The only person that wins in the end is the Feds and state government, and some guy with an old washing machine on his front porch in the backwoods of South Carolina who bought a ticket at the Quick Shop purely on accident. Reminds me of the Casinos in Las Vegas, the house always wins.
The Feds backed the biggest gamble in US History and then paid for the losses with Bear Sterns, AIG and others. The Feds then funded a $700 billion dollar bailout of investment and commercial banks and gave them TARP money whether they wanted it or not, a carte blanch deal, with YOUR tax dollars. These investment banks underwrote bad subprime mortgages knowing that mortgage backed securities were not being regulated and they were no good, so all these Wall Street types, and banks could get their fees. This GAMBLE almost destroyed the entire economical system of the US, and not one person was charged with a felony.
Game Over – Accept it
The Feds do not back online gaming. Why is that you may wonder? They do not get paid and cannot regulate it. Kind of sad actually because gaming online regulates losses for the end consumer first and foremost. If you are out of money, you cannot bet anymore. That is better than the local bookie who will take your bet anytime, anywhere and when you come up short on Tuesday, breaks your kneecaps if you do not pay. Now the Feds are going to spend more millions going after these bookies instead of taking that money and fixing infrastructure issues within our borders, or funding healthcare. When you are a responsible and informed gambler on sports or poker online you are giving yourself a better than average chance to win. Yet the Feds are not allowing you to do that in its current form. Whether you like it or not, unless you as an individual take action, nothing will change. If it does change it will be at a snail’s pace. Las Vegas Casinos have legislation in place to start up online poker rooms within the US borders and the windfall from them being the only game in town, totally US bank backed, is attractive to law makers who love the money potential of that scenario. I see that happening within 2 years or less. Sportsbooks are a long way from where Poker is, and there is no grass roots organization at all, and everyone with all the money is offshore and directing their efforts to foreign markets now. Right now it is a big crap sandwich, time to take a bite because within the next 3 months you will have nowhere to wager a sporting event online without serious risks.