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Absolute Poker tricks the US banking system


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Absolute Poker tricks the US banking system


The Internet gambling regulation, consumer protection and enforcement act, authored by congressman Barney Frank, received its markup session on 27th July this year, and passed with a number of amendments.

One such, the "bad actors" amendement proposed by congressman Brad Sherman, includes the clause below, which I'm adding to the text of the act for context:



UNSUITABLE FOR LICENSING. An applicant or any other person may not be determined to be suitable for licensing within the meaning of this subchapter if the applicant or such person...

(E) fails to certify in writing, under penalty of perjury, that the applicant or other such person, and all affiliated business entities, has through its entire history...used due diligence to prevent any U.S. person from placing a bet on an internet site in violation of Federal or State gambling laws.



You can find this in the standards section of the original bill.


As such, notwithstanding the potential legal minefield of the phrase "...in violation of Federal or State gambling laws" (internet gambling is not technically illegal), the purpose of this clause is plainly to prohibit those operators who currently accept US customers from ever gaining a license.


Absolute Poker currently accepts US customers. Not only that, they are quite brazen about avoiding detection by the US authorities - see the Absolute Poker Sales Rep video on Youtube, the text of which I've condensed here:


Depositing to evade detection by the US admin:


Customer: How do I get money there if I can't do it legally? I don't understand?

Rep: Well, if your credit card does get blocked by your bank, we usually recommend that you go to any convenience store and get those pre-paid international credit cards, and those have a pretty much 100% success rate.



Withdrawing.


Rep: The cheque wouldn't come from an online poker company, so it just looks like a "services rendered" cheque for your bank.

Customer: So the cheque is labelled in such a way as the bank won't recognise it as coming from a poker site? 'Cos they know, if it says "Absolute Poker" they're not going to deposit it, right?

Rep: We try to avoid that at all costs.

Customer: You've got to try and trick the US banks?

Rep: We get around the rules, you know, somehow...we just actually had a bill passed to go to congress; steps are being made in the right direction.



When the time comes, a combination of Absolute Poker's currrent relationship with US citizens and its brazen attitude towards circumventing US legislation may well result in a failure to ever get a legal toehold in the US.


Considering their history of disreputable behaviour, I would not see this as anything other than the right outcome.



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