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FBI shuts down poker websites for illegal actscomment (0)

May 12, 2011

NEW YORK — More than four years after Congress passed legislation to criminalize Internet gambling in the United States, the three largest poker websites have been shut down by the FBI.

Eleven executives at PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, along with others, were charged with bank fraud and money laundering. The 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) — which finally took effect last summer — bans online gambling and prohibits U.S. financial institutions from processing transactions related to it.

“These defendants concocted an elaborate criminal fraud scheme, alternately tricking some U.S. banks and effectively bribing others to assure the continued flow of billions in illegal gambling profits,” Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement.

Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy and research with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, applauded the government’s move.

“People’s lives are being destroyed by the thousands in this country because of gambling,” Duke said during an interview on CNN on April 18. “The last thing we need is for that to be streamed into their homes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is just a bad policy to have that, and I think that the federal government has made the right decision on this.”

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