Feds Shut Down Popular Online Poker Site

Paul Lilly

U.S. authorities continue their crusade against the evil and despicable world of...ONLINE POKER! Children are safer today, there are no more marital problems, and world peace is at hand, all because the U.S. Department of Justice pulled the plug on Full Tilt Poker, one of the most popular online poker sites and sponsor to several real life professional poker players, including Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, Phil Gordon, and several others.

Actually, this isn't just about U.S. authorities cracking down on online gambling, though that's a big part of it. According to a report in the L.A. Times , the gambling commission on the island of Alderney in the British Channel Islands suspended the licenses of Full Tilt Poker following an investigation prompted by indictments in the U.S. Those indictments charged Full Tilt Poker executives with bank fraud, money laundering, and other crimes.

The U.S. Justice Department maintains that online poker is illegal in North America under several federal and state laws, and has filed a civil suit against Full Tilt Poker and its affiliates seeking at least $3 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports. Full Tilt and other poker sites -- most notably PokerStars -- deny having done anything wrong, saying that U.S. laws covering online gambling are ambiguous. Up until the recent crackdown, Full Tilt and PokerStars controlled the majority of the online poker market worth an estimated $5 billion a year.

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