×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

$33 Million In Poker Winnings Seized By US Govt

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the mine-now-I-take-it dept.

The Almighty Buck 465

An anonymous reader writes "A New York Times story reports that, 'Opening a new front in the government's battle against Internet gambling, federal prosecutors have asked four American banks to freeze tens of millions of dollars in payments owed to people who play poker online. ... "It's very aggressive, and I think it's a gamble on the part of the prosecutors," Mr. Rose said. He added that it was not clear what law would cover the seizure of money belonging to poker players, as opposed to the money of the companies involved.' Many players are reporting that their cashout checks have bounced."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

465 comments

Lame Gov (5, Insightful)

tc3driver (669596) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287367)

Hello.... Government....
Don't you have more important things to be thinking about than `internet poker`?
Like an economy on the rocks?
or maybe nearly 10% of the folks in this nation who have no source of income?

Honestly, I'll never understand who goes through our governments minds... they do nothing but waste time, thus waste money... and people wonder why this nation is on the verge of collapse...

Re:Lame Gov (5, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287389)

There's no more important government function that getting their hands on someone else's money.

      Brett

Re:Lame Gov (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287725)

Exactly. Change we can believe in. It's disgusting, now the government is robbing people of gaming winnings. They have nothing better to do, than make sure it's citizens are taxed and robbed to death. I guess they forgot how America was "discovered" in the first place... to escape an oppressive and over size government that is at it's heart, was hypocritical, much like today. We have tax cheats and frauds in financial institutions running this country. It's just sickening. The uprising is coming, and they will only have themselves to blame. It's coming.

Re:Lame Gov (1, Flamebait)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287789)

Actually, that would be a continuation of the policy put forward during the Bush administration years. I know that you like to bash Democrats, but I don't recall President Bush or the Republicans in congress threatening to shut it down.

The uprising is indeed coming, but to assume that it's going to go in favor of fascism is a huge mistake. The people of America are getting pretty sick of being abused so that corporations and moral interests can take their freedom. If you don't like this sort of policy, then you shouldn't vote for Republicans, end of story. They were the main proponents of banning internet gaming, not the Democrats.

Re:Lame Gov (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288087)

Are you addressing me? Where did I differentially bash anyone?

          Brett

Re:Lame Gov (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28288199)

Change your viewing threshold to 0 or -1 like a big boy and you won't have to ask ;)

Re:Lame Gov (4, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288189)

I guess they forgot how America was "discovered" in the first place... to escape an oppressive and over size government that is at it's heart, was hypocritical, much like today

The problem isn't that the politicians forgot this. It's that the American population did.

Re:Lame Gov (5, Insightful)

MetinAustralia (1573827) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287917)

Wasn't this law brought in to protect the individual from losing his/her money to gambling? Then why is the individual now losing his/her money to the government?

Re:Lame Gov (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28288007)

The government is a jealous lover.

Re:Lame Gov (1, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287457)

Yes the government is just one big agency that only does one thing at a time~

The nation is on the verge of collapse(it's actually not) due to libertarian shifts in the banking industry.

Re:Lame Gov (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287685)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqMdROiM8wU

http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/files/2009/06/stimulus-vs-unemployment-may2.gif

I'm pretty sure it's not the libertarian shifts that are the problem.

Re:Lame Gov (5, Informative)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287823)

Libertarian shift in the banking industry o_O ?

The libertarians have been the most rabid opponent of the banking system for decades. The banking system is basically a franchise system by the state controlled central bank. The most important factor in banking, the short term interest rate is set by a group of technocrats and politicians, much like the gosplan. Banking is the least libertarian sector in the economy, it is a pillar of the government.

Re:Lame Gov (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287477)

Well, let's see, you seem to be thinking the Government is one monolithic entity, that can only process one thing at a time. In reality, it's multi-taking, multi-processing, and otherwise engaged in doing a lot of things at once. More than likely, none of the people involved in this situation have anything to do with the economy in any meaningful decision-making way. Their concern is elsewhere.

So yeah, you're just making a joke, but it's not funny, because it's simply not true. Don't go on the White-Collar comedy tour.

Re:Lame Gov (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28288237)

Government is capable of doing multiple things at once, but every task it does requires funding.

Stop funding tasks that aren't improving urgent concerns. This is not an urgent concern.

Re:Lame Gov (2, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288279)

Stop funding tasks that aren't improving urgent concerns

So in your world, nothing not urgent should be worked on? I take it you're not a fan of preventative maintenance then.

Re:Lame Gov (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287631)

Honestly, I'll never understand who goes through our governments minds...

The same thing that goes through ours. Remember who gives the government its authority.

Re:Lame Gov (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28288169)

egos+money = bad

egos+other people's money = very very bad

Re:Lame Gov (2, Funny)

Airborne-ng (1391105) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288197)

Honestly, I'll never understand who goes through our governments minds...

The last person to go through my mind was Jessica Biel...maybe it's the same for them.

Re:Lame Gov (4, Interesting)

slarrg (931336) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288383)

Let me see if I've got this straight. The government is concerned that people are being scammed out of their money by online poker playing so they take the player's money instead. How's this better? And, wouldn't the fact that the money they are seizing is actually payouts from the poker companies prove that at least people are actually winning at least $33 million?

that's what you get for breaking the law (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287371)

these people deserve to have all their money taken. everyone knows online poker is rigged, and without proper regulation the house always wins. go to las vegas for real gambling people!

Re:that's what you get for breaking the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287561)

And somehow gambling isn't rigged in Las Vegas? LOL!

The House always wins, always. No matter where you are. If they didn't then they wouldn't be in business.

Re:that's what you get for breaking the law (3, Informative)

gangien (151940) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287701)

in poker anyways, the house makes its money on the rake. which is, each pot it gets a small percentage (usually this is capped at a few dollars). So the house has every reason to make sure it's cards are random, as people will perform statistical analysis on the cards dealt, and it makes no difference in terms of how much money they make. They want you to play more/bigger hands. So in poker, you're not really competing against the house, just other players and to make money you need to be better than the other players by percentage of the rake.

Re:that's what you get for breaking the law (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287743)

I know that, but it's online. You know you are playing against real people how? you know the computer isn't feeding you a 'good' hand and someone else a better hand? how do you know the computer doesn't change the hands you can't see dependant on the pot?

You can't. And since they are over seas without regulation you have no way of knowing.

SO you get the normal house pot, AND the winning from some other player.
It's a trivial scam. Considering the history of gambling houses, and shady people who use the internet it's a risk.

I wrote a poker software package that did all that for SnGs in 99.
Trivial.

Re:that's what you get for breaking the law (2, Interesting)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287915)

Wait, what? You wrote a software package that did what? Explain this please.

Re:that's what you get for breaking the law (4, Insightful)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287791)

Furthermore - As someone who used to partake in the online casino gambling industry (as a participant):

Most online gambling might be an outright lie. But in the case of online poker, the house took a rake, just like in the real casino. In fact, I managed to even cash out a few winnings before I lost interest, and then it became illegal. It was *possible* for the online casino to have a ringer that got stacked decks... But I seriously doubt that any of the mainstream sites would use that tactic especially since there was:
1) A metric F ton of competition from other casinos.
2) The cash they raked anyway was pretty darn good.
3) No risk on their part... They just needed to provide a service.

I was absolutely shocked that all online gambling was banned... until I saw that casinos and racetracks were the primary fund^H^H^H^H beneficiaries of the law. But IIRC the real selling point was that it was treated as unreported income for most of the users. That translated directly to lost tax receipts. I personally thought that the govt could have worked with the sites to find a way to slice off some of the winnings, or to get the sites to properly report losses and gains of the members. I'll assume that the reason they didn't was because the sites were mostly offshore.

Re:that's what you get for breaking the law (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287731)

And somehow gambling isn't rigged in Las Vegas?

They don't build billion dollar casinos from winners.

Another reason not to gamble online (0, Offtopic)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287429)

First, you ahve no garuntee you will get paid.
second, you ahve no way of knowing if it's fair.

You can skew the odds 10% in the houses favor, and no one would notice. probably more.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (1, Troll)

Delwin (599872) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287467)

There are no house odds in poker.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287485)

If you're playing with a real deck, at a real casino.

Who knows whats in the virtual deck you're playing with?

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (4, Informative)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287657)

If you're playing with a real deck, at a real casino. Who knows whats in the virtual deck you're playing with?

Doesn't matter. Your opponents are still other players. Someone always wins every hand - the house never "wins". The house just takes a rake out of every pot.

Now, you could theorize that the house occasionally might grab more rake than it is due, but that would be easy to determine. The only other means of obvious fraud would be for the house to create a 'shill' player.

Your real fear should be collusion between multiple accounts created by the same person or a group of people acting together. That happens all the time.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287711)

Perhaps - but certainly the deck can be "stacked" in online poker to create "action" hands and thus more rake.

Just sayin'...it could happen.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287831)

The house isn't going to do that, it's not in their best interest to cheat in games that are designed to be in their favor.

Employees on the other hand have been caught scamming, I remember a while back that an employee was fixing games by revealing the opponents hands to his friends. That went on for a while until the house took notice of the unusual winning streak and figured out what was going on.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (2, Informative)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288253)

Actually, I think that case was detected by outsiders who noticed a statistical anomaly when analyzing the performance of the top players on the site in question. It only happened because there was enough publicly available data to spot something suspicious.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287965)

Why is this insightful? This makes no sense. Do you understand the rules of poker? There is no house, hence there can be no house odds. The house does not play in the hand, any hand. It gets no simpler than that.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288091)

Online you can't know that the house isn't running a bot allowed to peak at the deck or your hand.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (5, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287497)

Actually, there are no house odds in poker played with a real deck of cards. For anything involving a computer (or mechanics, historically) it's just a matter of how you implement the game.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287875)

What are you talking about?

You are not playing against the house - therefore THERE IS NO HOUSE ODDS. It is totally irrelevant if the dec is real or virtual - both real and online casinos make a fixed percentage of money based on the size of the pot - they don't care at all who walks away with it.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288193)

But they'd prefer big pots to small pots.

So action flops are better for the house.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (4, Insightful)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287673)

There are no house odds in poker.

Sure there is. There is a 100% chance the house will take a rake. Those are pretty favorable odds if you ask me.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (5, Insightful)

Pulzar (81031) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287525)

It's poker, you're not playing against the house. There's no reason to skew the odds.

(Before somebody else says it, yeah, they could try to generate "action" hands to increase the rake. They could make weaker hands win more often to keep the fish around. This is a much harder thing to do undetectably than have the house win 10% more often in blackjack... with all the software available to keep track of and analyze all hands played, it's easy to spot any irregularities in randomness. I doubt that it's worth the effort to try to develop an undetectable skew in probabilities... Not to mention that if you screw up and get detected, your gold mine will be deserted the next day).

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287647)

you're not playing against the house

Assuming that the other three people at the table aren't "the house", and that their computers don't tell them what cards you have, etc. etc.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (2, Insightful)

clem (5683) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287691)

It's poker, you're not playing against the house. There's no reason to skew the odds.

For all one knows, one could very well be playing against the house. Any guarantee that one or more of the other players aren't automated agents there to pull in winnings for the casino?

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28288283)

There's no guarantee... but over time such a thing would show up in the statistics... and the players would find out... and the poker room would find itself out of business.

Collusion among players is a much bigger problem for online poker than the house skewing the games. And even that seems to not be very prevalent. And online poker rooms spend some amount of resources trying to catch colluders as well. Collusion is easy to see if you can see all the cards...

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (4, Insightful)

panthroman (1415081) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287709)

Unlike homeowner's insurance, where you ARE playing against the house. Or car insurance. Or the state lottery. Or mutual funds. Or health insurance.

We manage risk all the time, and happily pay people for the privilege. I've never understood why poker got such a bad rep.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288039)

People gets a bad wrap because it's both misundedrstood, as we see in examples above, and the history of the game is dubious in general. That's not today's modern poker operation, but it does have the historical image of an "outlaw" game that is hard to shake.

All Gambling is risk management. That same risk management pervades our lives, we just don't recognize it.

Myself, I got half a million hands at 100NL that say online poker is worth the risk. But freezing accounts? Yikes. I don't like to take that kind of risk and I hope they get this cleared up soon because I won't play without that guarantee. It's not too much to ask to get paid in a timely fashion with checks that actually cash.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28288359)

with insurance, you have an interest in the thing that's being insured. You can't buy a life insurance policy on J Random Person. At least in the old days you couldn't. Credit Default Swaps were insurance where neither party had an interest in the underlying product, and those didn't turn out so well.

State lottery? That's gambling, but the state makes the laws.

Stocks and mutual funds? Those are ownership stakes.

All of the above (except maybe state lotteries) are heavily regulated. In states where gambling is legal, it's heavily regulated. Can you say the same for offshore online poker?

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287599)

Actually, in online poker, you have access to all the cards you ever played. You can look at your last 10,000 hands and see if the cards you get have any statistical anomalies. Try doing that at a bricks-and-mortar casino.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (4, Informative)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287677)

First, you ahve no garuntee you will get paid. second, you ahve no way of knowing if it's fair. You can skew the odds 10% in the houses favor, and no one would notice. probably more.

The persistence of these myths is quite remarkable, and may have something to do with the current legal situation.

As others have pointed out, poker is not a game which is skewed in the house's favor. The house takes a percentage of every pot, called the rake. In poker players play against one another, and while there is a chance element, chance does not favor anyone in the long run. In the long run, the difference in earnings between two players can be attributed to the choices they make. That is why poker is considered a game of skill and many governments have recognized this distinction. Poker is legal in California, for example, because the courts have ruled it to be a game of skill.

What is especially silly about this new legal move is that it rests on very shaky legal ground. The prosecutor has cited the Wire Act [wikipedia.org] , but federal courts have already ruled that the wire act only applies to sports betting. It's also strange timing since the UIGEA which attempts to prevent gambling-related money transfers is scheduled to begin being enforced later this year.

As to the fairness of the games, that could only be ensured and improved with proper regulation. Hopefully the attention brought to this situation by this case will ultimately result in the legality of online poker being clarified. Barney Frank has introduced a bill to legalize and regulate online poker. If this is an issue you support, I urge you to let your congressperson know [capwiz.com] .

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (1, Flamebait)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287879)

As others have pointed out, poker is not a game which is skewed in the house's favor. The house takes a percentage of every pot, called the rake. In poker players play against one another, and while there is a chance element, chance does not favor anyone in the long run.

In traditional poker, yes. Where none of the players see each other, one could be playing for the house; wouldn't they rather make the entire pot rather than a small percentage of it?

Or, you could just rely on the honesty of a fly-by-night, Cayman Islands-based internet company.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (1)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287977)

Sure, but the misconception is that the game of poker fairly played favors the house. People erroneously believe this because they relate it to other forms of gambling where this is the case.

Cheating is another issue, and it's true the we need better regulations on this -- which is part of the reason the law should be changed or clarified. That said, what has kept things above water so far (with a few notable exceptions like the scandal at Absolute Poker) is that the money these sites make from rake is enormous. The motivation to attract more players with a reputation of fairness is really the best way for them to make money. Cheating the very high limit players is pretty much the only way this could go down -- which is what happened at AP, where they were caught when people noticed the anomalous winnings of certain players.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (4, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288023)

Ah yes, th fly-by-night internet companies that are listed on the London stock exchange like Party Poker and Poker Stars.

Re:Another reason not to gamble online (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288211)

And because you can see the guy across the table at the casino means he can't be playing for the house?

mod D0wn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287475)

new faces and mrany for electioWn, I

Arrest the prosecutor (5, Funny)

genner (694963) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287483)

"It's very aggressive, and I think it's a gamble on the part of the prosecutors," Mr. Rose said.
The prosecution should be brought up on illegal gambling charges.

Re:Arrest the prosecutor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287551)

You could say they had a straight flush?

Re:Arrest the prosecutor (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287583)

I had a royal flush earlier today. Right after I dropped Obama off at the white house.

Re:Arrest the prosecutor (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287861)

Aha, so AC is a chauffeur. I'll add that to the list. A gay chauffeur with a fetish for poop. There can't possibly be that people like that around.

Re:Arrest the prosecutor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28288061)

There can't possibly be that people like that around.

This sentence makes no sense.

Re:Arrest the prosecutor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287727)

+6, Absolute Win

Who Trusts Online Gambling Anyways? (5, Interesting)

KneelBeforeZod (1527235) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287495)

Who Trusts Online Gambling Anyways? Quite honestly I think the gov is just worried that online gambling may be a simplified way of laundering money.

Re:Who Trusts Online Gambling Anyways? (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288075)

I think this you are right and this is all setting up the future, specifically the regulation of online gambling and taxation of it. These are not easy topics considering no country owns it. But you better believe Uncle Sam wants his cut. IMO that's what this is about. That and the lobbying efforts of various casino industry groups and both right and left leaning anti-gambling groups. One hates gambling because Jesus would hate it. The other hates gambling because it provides pleasure, and leftists hate anyone getting pleasure without sharing.

Re:Who Trusts Online Gambling Anyways? (2, Informative)

zonky (1153039) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288277)

I think you'd find that many on-line casinos are already regulated by the countries they are based on. There are many that are not, of course.

Re:Who Trusts Online Gambling Anyways? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28288311)

I work on one of the largest wagering sites in Australia, and a lot of thought and effort is put in to protect the sites against money laundering and other nefarious uses.

Our site is heavily regulated and audited by the Australian state governments, and our system already supports geographic distribution of taxes, based on the location of the account holder. The location of the account holder is verifiable, because we require a 100 point ID check to fully activate an account.

Through proper regulation, and well built systems, issues such as "who gets the tax" and "how can the site be trusted" are solvable, and have already been solved in many countries.

Wont work. (5, Insightful)

wonderboss (952111) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287509)

They may successfully grab the money of these unfortunates, but then people will stop depositing winnings in US banks. The internet does not respect borders or jurisdictions.

Re:Wont work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287605)

They may successfully grab the money of these unfortunates, but then people will stop depositing winnings in US banks. The internet does not respect borders or jurisdictions.

Ok, but it's quite a hassle to open a bank account at an overseas bank without actually going there.

Most USians don't have easy access to foreign banks.

Re:Wont work. (4, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287777)

Governments, however, do. And are able to monitor such activity. Having your house seized as 'proceeds of illegal activity' is something that would very utterly negate the benefit of using offshore banks.

Saw it Coming (5, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287537)

Honestly, I wondered why this hadn't happen sooner.

Now, instead of the people taking a risk of getting cheated out of their money, they 100% did get cheated out of their money.

The companies should be allowed to pay-out what has already been accumulated, but no more after that. There's no guarantee whatsoever that the gamblers themselves weren't going to pay taxes on the money that they won.

Re:Saw it Coming (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288213)

There's no guarantee whatsoever that the gamblers themselves weren't going to pay taxes on the money that they won.

Guilty until proven innocent?

And why the fuck should they have to any more than they should pay money to Tony Soprano?

Let's push poker underground too! (5, Interesting)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287545)

I live in the Washington DC area - a place where you can't get a legal hand of poker dealt for literally 200 miles around. There are still plenty of really big games around here - you just need to bring a firearm to some of them.

It sounds like a great idea to me to push poker off of a safe online format and into illegal and sometimes dangerous poker rooms. Sure many people will choose not to gamble - but what exactly is the cost in lives that justifies that?

I play on FullTiltPoker all the time. It's safe and I can play for literally as little as 10 cents for a full tournament. How is that worse than having some of the same people venture into big games that aren't legal, they can't afford? You think gambling is a problem? Wait until those same people with gambling problems get in front of a loan shark, or shot because they can't pay.

Great move.

Re:Let's push poker underground too! (3, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287803)

Wait until those same people with gambling problems get in front of a loan shark, or shot because they can't pay.

So, prior to the 'net, how many people were shot in the D.C. area per annum because they couldn't pay?

Re:Let's push poker underground too! (1)

drfreak (303147) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288139)

Well, I doubt they were shot right way. The shark was just seeing no ROI [earthweb.com] .

Re:Let's push poker underground too! (3, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288167)

DC used to have the highest gun violence and murder rates in the country. The decline does seem to have some correlation with the widespread-ed-ness of the internet...

Re:Let's push poker underground too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28288293)

So, prior to the 'net, how many people were shot in the D.C. area per annum because they couldn't pay?

What the fuck does that stat tell you about what will happen once people shift away from internet poker and into live poker? Internet poker has made poker much more popular (look at the amount of internet-only players that have attended the various WSOPs, also look at how the attendance at these events as increased) and I wouldn't be surprised to know that a significant amount of these players are addicted. So, what about all of this new blood, how does that factor into that retarded stat you requested?

Laws, schmores (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287555)

Ah, you're missing the big picture...

Since the laws against internet gambling are themselves illegal [slashdot.org] , it's important to put the casinos out of business so that they can't keep on embarrassing the government and claiming compensation year on year.

Re:Laws, schmores (1, Flamebait)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287903)

That's not true. That was politically motivated, the WTO was hijacked as a way of getting back at the US for foreign policy disagreements.

Morally, ethically, and legally unjustifiable. (1)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287559)

Nothing more needs to be said.

Except, maybe.. that the prosecutor(s) should be fired, forced to wear yellow, and barred from working with or for the American government for the next 20 years.

How far America has fallen from the beautiful ideal of the land of the free. :(

'Cause THIS is clearly the highest priority (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287591)

I've got a great idea. How about the government makes a list of the most important issues facing the United States today. Hell, I'll even be happy to let the party in power at the moment dictate the order of this list.

Where do you all think internet poker falls on that list? Is it even in the top thousand?!?!

Re:'Cause THIS is clearly the highest priority (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287753)

There are what, 93 US Attorneys...each with well over a hundred Assistant US Attorneys. So even if it were in the top 10,000 they could easily fit it in as a priority. Assuming that somehow, each of those persons had only one priority at a time, as opposed to oh several dozen, if not more, they're working on.

So yeah, go ride your white horse about priorities, but the rest of us know that it's really one of those stick ponies.

Re:'Cause THIS is clearly the highest priority (2, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287815)

It's pretty high on some of the special-interest-groups' lists [ncalg.org] .

The number of anti-gaming [cagnyinf.org] groups is obscene.

And apparently their voices are heard louder than most.

Also, they have a lot of ammunition to use against "online poker" sites, partly because politicans can easily be made suspicious of online services...

There are lots of negative connotations about "online gambling" sites

Re:'Cause THIS is clearly the highest priority (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288069)

You're the second person who has said something like this. You do realize that the federal government has millions of employees, and is in fact capable of focusing on more than a thousand things at the same time? It's not like budget-planning is being put off to focus on this, or President Obama personally ordered it himself. Someone down the chain thought it would be a good idea. It's a weird idea, but at least this will bring some attention to the issue.

Re:'Cause THIS is clearly the highest priority (2, Interesting)

anaphora (680342) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288101)

There is a Government Briefing Book hosted at change.gov [change.gov] that asks citizens to rank issues they are concerned with. Online poker is the number one issue in the Technology category. Maybe you're not concerned with the fight against classifying poker as a game of 'chance', while horsebetting is a game of 'skill', but many of us make our living doing this and pay our taxes on it like normal people. Countless others enjoy depositing $50 and enjoying their evening gambling. By a wide margin, most online poker deposits are $100 and 50% of them are made by Americans, and yet there are billions of dollars in prize money handed out every year, so that illustrates the scale of which Americans enjoy a very popular pasttime which the government is trying to end because of a desire to prohibit gambling inside the United States.

REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287651)

DEAR SIR/MADAM,

MY NAME IS ARIZONA SLIM, ORIGINATOR OF MORTGAGES AND PATRON OF VEGAS. I AM NEPHEW OF UNITED STATES POKER PROFESSIONAL WITH WINNINGS OF $2.2 MILLION U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE NOTES. THE GOVERNMENT IS THREATENED BY COUP OF LEFTIST GUERRILLAS WHO ATTEMPT TO NATIONALIZE BANKS, INDUSTRIALS, PROFITS OF WINDFALL AND PRIVATE ASSETS OTHER. MY FAMILY IS WITHOUT CONFIDENCE TO RETRIEVE GROSS PROCEEDS OF ONLINE POKER. I WISH TO ESTABLISH YOUR TRUST FOR I AM WITHOUT VIRTUE TO RETRIEVE FUNDS IN OUR NAMES. THIS UTTERLY CONFIDENTIAL AND 'TOP SECRET'. I AM SURE AND HAVE CONFIDENCE OF YOUR ABILITY AND RELIABILITY TO PROSECUTE A TRANSACTION OF THIS GREAT MAGNITUDE INVOLVING A PENDING TRANSACTION REQUIRING MAXIIMUM CONFIDENCE.

THE SOURCE OF THE FUNDS IS AS FOLLOWS. MY UNCLE PROGRAMMED POKE BOT FOR TWENTY-FOUR BY SEVEN PLAYING FOR FLEECING OF COLLEGE STUDENTS. ASSETS ACCUMULATED IN CAYMAN ISLANDS POKER PARTY. TO COMMENCE THIS BUSINESS WE SOLICIT YOUR ASSISTANCE TO ENABLE US TRANSFER INTO YOUR ACCOUNT THE SAID TRAPPED FUNDS.

  I HAVE THEREFORE, BEEN DELEGATED AS A MATTER OF TRUST BY MY UNCLE TO LOOK FOR AN OVERSEAS PARTNER INTO WHOSE ACCOUNT WE WOULD TRANSFER THE SUM OF US$2,220,000.00(TWO MILLION, TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY THOUSAND U.S DOLLARS). HENCE WE ARE WRITING YOU THIS LETTER. WE HAVE AGREED TO SHARE THE MONEY THUS; 1. 20% FOR THE ACCOUNT OWNER 2. 70% FOR US (THE OFFICIALS) 3. 10% TO BE USED IN SETTLING TAXATION AND ALL LOCAL AND FOREIGN EXPENSES. IT IS FROM THE 70% THAT WE WISH TO COMMENCE THE IMPORTATION BUSINESS.

PLEASE,NOTE THAT THIS TRANSACTION IS 100% SAFE AND WE HOPE TO COMMENCE THE TRANSFER LATEST SEVEN (7) BANKING DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THE RECEIPT OF THE FOLLOWING INFORMATIOM BY TEL/FAX; 212-555-1212ext419, YOUR COMPANY'S SIGNED, AND STAMPED LETTERHEAD PAPER THE ABOVE INFORMATION WILL ENABLE US WRITE LETTERS OF CLAIM AND JOB DESCRIPTION RESPECTIVELY. THIS WAY WE WILL USE YOUR COMPANY'S NAME TO APPLY FOR PAYMENT AND RE-AWARD THE CONTRACT IN YOUR COMPANY'S NAME.

WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING THIS BUSINESS WITH YOU AND SOLICIT YOUR CONFIDENTIALITY IN THIS TRANSATION. PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE THE RECEIPT OF THIS LETTER USING THE ABOVE TEL/FAX NUMBERS. I WILL SEND YOU DETAILED INFORMATION OF THIS PENDING PROJECT WHEN I HAVE HEARD FROM YOU.

YOURS FAITHFULLY,
HONORABLE ARIZONA SLIM ESQ.

NOTE; PLEASE QUOTE THIS REFERENCE NUMBER (VE/S/09/99) IN ALL YOUR RESPONSES.

and I pay my taxes.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28287759)

What if I were a player, and honestly pay taxes on my winnings? What gives?

Just splendid... (5, Interesting)

UttBuggly (871776) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287871)

I happen to be a better than average poker player. Just today, I played in the $60 Freezeout at a local casino (died pushing an 18 outer), came home, played some low-limit NLHE and Omaha H/L PL on PokerStars and Full Tilt.

Joined the PPA - Poker Players Alliance - when it formed and hoped the UIGEA would get some attention. Well, not the way we hoped!

Since I make the vast majority of my poker money from live games in brick and mortar casinos, this newest stupidity doesn't hurt my bankroll directly. It does however, limit what I use online poker for...practice. I can play 4-6 tables at one time online, so I can see many, many more hands per hour than live at a single table.

I do own poker simulation software, so I can use that for a similar purpose. The issue is that the software AI is nothing like a human opponent.

I don't know the numbers the PPA is telling Congress, but I recall reading that if internet poker were taxed, the annual nut was over $10 billion. That's not small change.

This is a prime example of solving a problem that doesn't exist in the most ignorant way possible. Give me a freaking break.

This should be interesting (2)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287899)

It will be fun to see how American conservatives respond to this, seeing how they balance their desire to purge us of our moral evils with the desire to scream that Obama is a communist for seizing people's hard-earned property.

US v. $124,700 (2, Informative)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287905)

They probably sued the money first.

US v $124,700

Civil forfeiture is nothing more than an end run around the 4th and 14th amendments.

Besides, if money can be sued by the government, and thus deprived of its liberty, doesn't the money have the right to legal counsel?

What about the money's right to 5th amendment protection against self incrimination? ...need I go on?

Ready...Set.... (1)

lsmo (1106631) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287963)

This is just the start of what a Gov't scrambling to increase revenues will do. I have an equation that will amuse everyone. Insurance company that was to big + Banks that were to big to fail = ???? Yep a Gov't that is to big to fail, hide your wallets everyone. This is only a preview of whats to come. Guess what else I don't blame this on Obama or Bush for that matter. I blame the citizens. We must become a nation of informed citizens if we want to compete in the global market in the future. Time to make some tough decisions...

Re:Ready...Set.... (3, Informative)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288129)

There's no revenue here, the money was frozen, not seized (despite what the summary says).

Never attribute to malice what can more easily be attributed to stupidity.

Will the WTO give Antigua and Barbuda 33M more now (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#28287995)

Will the WTO give Antigua and Barbuda 33M more.

Will us gov be able to hit a over seas bank that you have money at?>

US Actions Illegal Under International Commerc Law (1)

meehawl (73285) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288317)

Yes, it's remarkable that the US is pursuing this weird, illegal vendetta against international online gambling when recent legal decisions have conclusively proved that its actions are unsupportted by anything approximating a legal right. The NY Times apparently knew this back in 2004 [nytimes.com] , but it has apparently forgot by now.

The WTO's decision regarding the inability of the US, or its constituent States, to prohibit international commerce in the culturally protected arenas of sport and gambling is clear and, for a massive bureaucracy, surprisingly understandable [wto.org] . I think we can expect a lot more legal cases against the US by countries with offshore gambling economies. The WTO withheld awarding Antigua and Barbuda virtually unlimited license to duplicate any or all intellectual property copyrighted within the US. That could have cost billions, and really pissed off Microsoft. In a followup case, given persistent recidivism by the defendant (the US), a larger award might be more possible.

 

The United States was not able to invoke successfully the GATS exceptions provisions. In this regard, the United States was not able to demonstrate that the Wire Act, the Travel Act and the Illegal Gambling Business Act are âoenecessaryâ under Articles XIV(a) and XIV(c) of the GATS (i.e. âoeexceptionsâ provisions, including for public morals) and are consistent with the requirements of the chapeau of Article XIV of the GATS; ...
On 7 April 2005, the report of the Appellate Body was circulated. The Appellate Body: ...
upheld the Panelâ(TM)s finding, albeit for different reasons, that the United Statesâ(TM) Schedule includes a commitment to grant full market access in gambling and betting services.

Why does the gov care? (4, Interesting)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 4 years ago | (#28288081)

Why do they care about poker but not about many other legal forms of gambling? What makes online poker worthy of the government's time? Are they using the criminal law to prop up government sponsored monopolies in gambling?

A New Poker Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28288365)

History

In early January of 2006 two Texas Hold 'Em players began a search for a new form of poker. Using aspects from other card games, a new breed of poker was created. By adding a new skill set to such a hugely popular game like Hold 'Emâ¦ooMBaa is the latest craze to hit the poker world! No chips required!

Objective

Like all other poker games, the best hand wins. An understanding of poker hands and basic Hold 'Em strategy is required for this game. Unlike Texas Hold 'Em it is not always in the player's best interest to hold the cards that he is dealt. In fact, the player may not have the luxury of holding onto his cards at crucial points during the game and that is what makes ooMBaa revolutionary!

Rules

Two Player game
Best hand wins
Match is best of five games
Alternate dealing, cut high card for first deal
Basic deck of cards used, no jokers

Terms

The Board: the location of the community cards consisting of at least 3 and no more than 5 cards
The Pile: the remaining cards after the deal
Re-shuffle: if there are no cards left from the Pile at any point during the game, the Trash discard pile is re-shuffled and the game continues
Empty spot: when there are 3 cards on the board, there are two empty spots; when there are 4 cards on the board, there is one empty spot
Knocker: person who knocks, signifying the beginning of the end of the game

The Deal and the Draw

Each player is dealt two cards face down and flop is dealt face up (no burn). The player opposite the dealer goes first. Any time a player has less than two cards, he or she must immediately draw until the hand has two cards.

The Turn

A turn consists of either altering the opponent's hand, or possibly altering your hand. This can be done in numerous ways.

At the start of your turn you have one option to try to alter your opponent's hand by either asking for a suit or asking for a number. If you choose to try this, you must select a primary and secondary location on the board for your opponent to fill if they have one or both cards matching your criteria (see figure 1). Keep in mind, that a location may correspond to an existing card to be replaced, or an empty spot. If your opponent's hand is altered, your turn is over. If you don't try, or you fail to alter your opponent's hand, your turn continues.

If you do not alter your opponent's hand, your turn can be used to alter your hand. You can:

Swap one card on the board for one card in your hand
Remove one card from the board if there are more than three on the board
Draw one card from the pile and
replace a card in your hand
add to an empty spot on the board if one exists
discard it, and choose not to alter your hand
The Knock

Play continues until one person thinks they have an unbeatable hand and knocks. A player can only knock on their turn before any attempt to alter a hand. The opponent then has one last turn. If the opponent fails to alter or chooses not to alter the other player's hand the game is over after the opponent's turn. If the knocker's hand is altered, the knocker refills his or her hand as mentioned above.

The person who knocks can choose to fill the board if there are still empty spots after any final action by the knocker's opponent. The best five card hand wins. In the case of a tie, neither player is awarded a win and the deal alternates with the next game in the match.
   

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...