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Thursday, 22 December 2011 08:00

Absolute Poker Folds, In The Online Poker Game Of The Year

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Absolute Poker, one of the three online poker operators in the US who was prosecuted by the DOJ for violating US gambling laws has pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

Those who play online poker regularly will be familiar with Black Friday. For those not in the know, let me explain. Around 8 months ago on Friday April 15 2011, the DOJ charged the heads of Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker with bank fraud, illegal gambling offenses and money laundering. The DOJ seized their domain names and and froze 75 bank accounts used by these 3 operators. Since that day all three sites have been forced to ban American players from playing and all US players accounts were frozen. What was considered three of the best poker sites in the business were suspended, just like that.

In the States for roughly the last seven years, it was illegal to deposit money at gambling sites, free poker was readily available, but many poker sites continued to allow players to deposit money through the loophole that poker was a skill game and was not gambling. The DOJ cracked down on payment services such as Neteller and Money Bookers, where poker sites could conceal their transactions under ‘services’ rather than gambling deposits. More online payment providers popped up, so in 2011 the DOJ decided to go after the sites themselves.

Brent Beckely, 31, the co-founder of Absloute Poker, which is based in Costa Rica pleaded guilty to deceiving the banks by disguising billions of dollars from US player as payments to fake online retailers for jewelery and other goods. Beckley faces a year in half in prison, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to violate the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. It looks like Beckley could have a lot of time on his hands to practice some free poker!