Feds Plan To Temporarily Turn Poker Sites Back On So People Can Get Their Money Out

from the didn't-want-a-poker-player-revolt dept

When the feds seized three poker domains, one of the big concerns was if players would be able to get back their money. When the initial questions were raised, the Justice Department made some statements about how they didn't want people to be able to claim money that was obtained through illegal means -- suggesting that players would not be able to get their money back. However, it appears that someone let those in power know that there are a lot of people who play online poker... and they vote. So, suddenly, the government has agreed to reactivate two of the seized domains to help players retrieve their money. They're spinning the story to suggest people have "always" been able to reclaim their money, but many players say that was not the case at all, and they were completely frozen out of their accounts.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Frankz (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 6:17am

    Or they want to charge people with illegal gambling, and this is merely a way for them to garner more "evidence" for possible prosecutions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 6:35am

    That's a pity...

    ...because anyone who supported those domains financially, and thus put money in the pockets of spammers/scammers, really should lose everything. I say confiscate it all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    The eejit (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 6:42am

    I'd rather beleive a pack of poker players than the government any day of the week - for a start, it's much harder to tell when a poker player's lying (here's a hint; it isn't always when they open their mouths).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    ComputerAddict (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 6:44am

    The Article does not say the players have been able to refund the money, the article says: "... and each implicated poker company has at all times been free to reimburse any player's deposited funds." meaning they could have logged into their webhost/CC processor (not domain host) and issued refunds... the individuals however were SOL.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    David Cortright (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 6:53am

    The spin is a lie

    I have a PokerStars account with about $100 in it. I have tried to both cash out and to transfer the money to another account several times over the past week. I've been locked out of all attempts. My emails to customer support have gone unanswered.

    Personally, I really don't want the cash back. I just want it in an account that I can use to play poker online from time to time. I will figure out a way to work around this, as will most other savvy consumers, just like Canadians who have figured out ways to get DirecTV service.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    bdhoro (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 7:19am


    Lets get rid of online gambling... And sell more land to the Native Americans, so they can open up more Casinos. Then instead of people gambling online from the safety of their own homes, they can drive, get incredibly drunk, and establish a single place for all the degenerate gamblers to hang out with each other!

    This way society is much better off as a whole.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 8:03am

    Re: That's a pity...

    You trolls crack me up.

    I am surprised to see this much reason from the feds, though it never should have got to this point to begin with.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: That's a pity...

    It's not a troll. Online gambling sites have one of the highest incident rates of spamming out of all categories, and the ones in this case are notorious for it. I suggest doing the research: if you're careful and thorough enough, you'll have no trouble finding substantiating evidence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 8:56am


    No, but just like poker players, even when they are telling the truth they are trying to be deceptive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re: That's a pity...

    If you are careful and thorough enough you can find evidence to support anything.

    Even assuming you are correct, are you seriously claiming that customers should be punished for completely unrelated actions of the businesses?

    If so then anyone who has used viagra needs to be whipped, because pretty much everyone gets tons of spam for that all the time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Faceless Minion, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Re: That's a pity...

    So by this logic, anyone that has gotten BP fuel has helped destroy thousands of lives and businesses, right? Right.

    So, what should their punishment be?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Getefix, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: That's a pity...

    If so then anyone who has used viagra needs to be whipped

    With (cough, snort, giggle) what?

    Why aren't you players signed up with someplace that provides a nice VPN so it looks like you're in Denmark or some country where vice is usually serviced reasonably? And if you don't have an offshore bank account after everything that American banks have done to you, well, you should be whipped in the face with a viagra punisher. Try Iceland, we'll happily accept your accounts ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    Overcast (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 9:54am

    Yeah, online gambling is so much worse than state lottery...

    So very hypocritical.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    dirtbag71 (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 10:01am


    What a joke, if these sites are crooked, why take the players $$? Why don't the feds focus on real crooks like Sir Allen Stanford and Madoff?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    Coises (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 11:10am

    Domain name seizure — and restoration — of course has nothing to do with anything. I suspect the FBI (unlike DHS/ICE, who perhaps really don’t get it) always knew that, but mounted the seizure simultaneously with unsealing the indictments for maximum shock value.

    Though Techdirt readers should know what a domain seizure does and does not accomplish, many online poker players are not generally Internet-savvy; neither are many news sources: the commonly reported story said that the FBI had “shut down” these online poker sites, when of course the client software (which connects via numeric IP address and doesn’t require DNS) was unaffected. New domains were up in days.

    The sites themselves, not the FBI, chose to block real-money play by Americans. Since the DOJ placed restraining orders against various accounts used for payment processing, it’s not hard to guess what’s holding up cashouts.

    PokerStars has a United States Players FAQ that says something about cashouts:
    PokerStars has reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice that will allow players to cash out as soon as a suitable processor is found. This publically available agreement includes assurances from the DOJ that player cashouts can be processed safely. Cashouts for US residents are expected to be available within several weeks.

    The Cash Out option in the PokerStars Cashier will temporarily be unavailable, to allow us to prepare the technical solutions and formulate the plan and processes required to allow you to cash out your balance. We will notify all US players as soon as this option is available again.
    What I have to wonder is whether the US government will be watching the payouts... Prosecuting individuals for playing poker online would be a can of worms the DOJ probably wouldn’t want to open, but the IRS might be interested in names and account numbers of citizens who seem to have a lot of money coming back.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Monarch818, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    FullTilt Poker's FAQ

    Read through Full Tilt Poker's FAQ for U.S. players. Reads like the U.S. has now set up a GREAT FireWALL, just like China!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 1:42pm

    Another point of interest: why only reopen two of the sites? If you went to another poker site that got shut down, does this mean your money isn't worth as much to the government?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. icon
    keith (profile), Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 7:32am


    My theory - this is just crony takeover just like killing other disruptive technology/early adopters.

    This is just the 1st step to bleeding off the existing market share of the current players.

    Next, congress will make online poker legal, but you must use state/federally approved services.

    Those services will be provided by the large lobbying casino firms that are currently behind in the game.

    In return for the gift of killing the existing businesses uncle sam will be rewarded with campaign contributions and any and all other kickbacks under then sun. Wink wink, nudge nudge, thanks for helping your buddy out!

    that is all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    jnols33177, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 6:55pm

    Re: That's a pity...

    they were playing poker, not donating money to pedophiles and terrorists

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Scott Gage, Mar 4th, 2012 @ 7:38pm

    Bovada needs to be shut down

    OK people if you play at bovada make sure you are prepaired to lose all your money to bad beats as well as being cheated by the blackjack game I just lost hands in a row with big bets loseing $500 in the mean time. They are crooked and I plan to contact the federal government and even testify to make sure they dont continue to take peoples hard earned money. I am done playing the game and this is from someone that has played for 6 years. Finished done never going to let them steal my money again. No casino in my life have I ever seen win 14 hands in a row EVER. I will make sure its done for Bovada. Horrible dont play its sooooooooooooooo fixed its crazy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    online, Mar 24th, 2012 @ 7:27am


    It's high time they done that. I have a lot of money on some sites.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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