by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jun 9th 2009 6:41pm
For years, the federal government has insisted that online poker in the US is illegal, and reinforced it by tacking on punishment for payment processors who process gambling payments onto a totally unrelated bill about harbor safety. Poker players, on the other hand, have insisted for years that there are no laws against online poker -- in part because the laws are all against games of chance, whereas poker is a game of skill. This position received a small boost recently when a judge agreed that poker was a game of skill rather than chance. On top of this, there's been an ongoing effort underway (led by Barney Frank) to specifically make it clear that online poker is legal. However, until that bill goes anywhere, the feds apparently still believe it's very much illegal and have now started going after the payment processors, freezing the funds of payment processors who work with a variety of online poker sites. Expect quite a legal battle to follow.
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