Poker domain names unfrozen to allow refunds

April 20, 2011

US authorities said Wednesday they were unfreezing the domain names of two online poker companies targeted in a crackdown on Internet gambling so US players could withdraw their money.

The of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, three of the largest online poker companies operating in the United States, were seized last week and 11 people, including the founders of the sites, were charged with bank fraud, money laundering, illegal gambling and other offenses.

The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York said Wednesday that the and domain names were being restored to allow the sites to refund money deposited by US players.

"The government stands to enter the same agreement with Absolute Poker if it so chooses," the US Attorney's office said in a statement.

"This office expects the companies to return the money that US players entrusted to them, and we will work with the poker companies to facilitate the return of funds to players," the office said.

It said the two companies had agreed not to offer any gambling for "real money" to players located in the United States although they are free to offer online poker to players outside of the country.

While Internet gambling has been illegal in the United States since 2006, online remains a multi-billion-dollar industry with companies using a variety of ways to flout the law, including locating their operations offshore.

US law prohibits US financial institutions from knowingly accepting payments for online gambling made through credit cards, electronic funds transfers and checks.

The US ban on has been challenged as an unfair trade restriction at the World Trade Organization and some US lawmakers are seeking to have online gambling legalized.

Explore further: Bill to allow online gambling heading for US Congress

Related Stories

Group says poker winnings are frozen

June 10, 2009

(AP) -- An advocacy group for online poker said Tuesday that the federal government has frozen more than $30 million in the accounts of payment processors that handle the winnings of thousands of online poker players.

Lawmakers push to regulate, tax online gambling

May 19, 2010

(AP) -- Prohibition didn't work with alcohol and it's not working with Internet gambling now, say lawmakers pushing Congress to approve long-shot legislation that would legalize and tax online wagering.

11 charged in US crackdown on online poker

April 15, 2011

Eleven people have been charged with bank fraud, money laundering, illegal gambling and other offenses in a crackdown on the three largest online poker companies operating in the United States.

Recommended for you

Nevada researchers trying to turn roadside weed into biofuel

November 26, 2015

Three decades ago, a University of Nevada researcher who obtained one of the first U.S. Energy Department grants to study the potential to turn plants into biofuels became convinced that a roadside weed—curly top gumweed—was ...

Glider pilots aim for the stratosphere

November 20, 2015

Talk about serendipity. Einar Enevoldson was strolling past a scientist's office in 1991 when he noticed a freshly printed image tacked to the wall. He was thunderstruck; it showed faint particles in the sky that proved something ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.