Feds freeze poker winnings

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York asked CitiBank, Wells Fargo and two smaller banks to freeze approximately $30 Million of funds in accounts owned from offshore poker sites such as PokerStars.net and FullTitlPoker.com.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 states that it is illegal for any bank or financial institution to process any credit card or bank payment to an online gambling site. However, the Poker Players Alliance, a group that defends the rights of poker players, argues that the banks do not have to abide by with this legislation until December 1, 2009.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) plans to introduce a new bill to repeal the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Instead of banning internet gambling, he proposes that Congress should regulate and tax the growing industry.

PokerStars.net has sent emails to a number of affected customers. The company offers to credit amounts of additional funds into existing or new accounts. Many poker players argue that Poker is a game of skill and knowledge, and therefore should not be considered a form of gambling.
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