Many in the online gaming industry were falsely led to believe that the The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 was all bark and no bite. Since then the department of justice has started to take a bite out of the industry. It all started with the seizure of eWalletexpress, then the seizures of banks in New York State and Washington State followed by seizures of Citadel Commerce and GlobalATM. Now the online gaming industry is concerned the department of justice is serious about enforcing the Gambling act.
In November 2010, eWalletexpress had their funds and accounts seized by the United States Government as part of a confidential investigation. They said that currently they have started negotiating with the government about getting their funds back. At this time eWalletXpress is still unable to access these funds or return them to the players because the money is still not in their custody or control. This means a lot of Online players and online gambling sites have had their money tied up for over half a year with no end in sight. Online players are furious with both the Department Of Justice and eWalletexpress.
The seizures of the bank’s in New York State and Washington State are a bit of a different story. In Washington State an $8 Million Poker Fund was Seized. A number of payment processors involved, including Arrow Checks, Secure Money, Etegrity Processing, Anaya Trading Solutions and Blue Lake Capital Management. They were found to be in violation of the Federal Wire Act of 1961 because online gambling is outlawed in the state of Washington. This varies greatly from other seizures because it was not a direct result of the The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Same thing in New york State, Allied Systems and Account Services found their assets seized also. Their owner was lucky enough to negotiate a settlement for less than half the seized funds and then left the country. Again where does this leave the online players and their money. Out of luck is the answer.
Next are the seizures of Citadel Commerce and GlobalATM. Citadel Commerce had their funds seized back in 2007 by the Department Of Justice. It unclear exactly what has happened in this case and if the online players ever received their money back. Recently, GlobalATM or ECHECK, an online payment processor, is now offline and is unable to be contacted. Its a mystery exactly what happened if the Department Of Justice seized them or they just went out of business. Either way many online gamblers received checks that bounced and had to find other ways to get their funds if they could get them at all.
It is easy to see from above that the department of justice is starting to win many battles and possibly the war of The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The gaming industry does not realize the war has begun and this is why their losing so many battles. Online US Casino players and US Poker players could be hard pressed to find fund processors very soon.