While the USA is still reeling from the fallout of Black Friday, and the effect this day had for professional online poker players in the US. It has recently come to light that the police department in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, USA received over $470 000 worth of seized online poker funds as a result of federal investigations into Internet gambling. This news is understandably being questioned by online poker players around the world.
It is believe that more than $30 million was seized by the Dept. of Homeland Security’s (ICE) division, between December of 2009 and January of 2011. The $470 000 disbursed to Anne Arundel County made up a small portion of these poker funds that were seized.
When the story was revealed on June 2nd 2011, it obviously rattled a whole load of online poker players who still had funds in their accounts when sites such as Poker Stars and Full Tilt were seized by the Feds. While Poker Stars have been making arrangements to return any funds owing to members, Full Tilt has not done the same and it certainly appears as though law enforcement officials have no intention of doing this either.
US Attorney offices have said that they have no intention of returning any money to players and that “illegal gambling proceeds are forfeited to the government”. To date this matter is still sub judicea and there is no definite court decision to say that the sites which were closed down were in fact acting illegally.
The distribution of seized funds is apparently rather unusual, although according to legal experts it is not the first time it has been done. What is rather odd however is the fact that it has been seen to be done with such massive publicity; it kind of brings a whole new meaning to the redistribution of wealth!Written by Neha A.