Feds Freeze Online Poker Accounts

| by Reason Foundation

The feds may not be able to arrest people for gambling online (technically,
it isn't illegal), but it looks like they plan to make life pretty difficult for
them. From the Wall Street Journal:

In an apparent crackdown on Internet gambling, federal authorities in New
York have frozen or seized bank accounts worth $34 million belonging to 27,000
online poker players, according to representatives for the players and account

In an operation that began last week, the office of the U.S. Attorney for the
Southern District of New York froze or issued seizure orders for bank accounts
in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Arizona held at Wells Fargo, Citibank,
Goldwater Bank and Alliance Bank of Arizona.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office had no comment.

The accounts are managed by Allied Systems Inc., and Account Services, which
handle cash for popular online poker sites, including Full Tilt Poker, Poker
Stars, Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker. Though the money belongs to the poker
players, it is held for them in accounts managed by the two service

Account Services, which had an account worth $15 million frozen in its San
Francisco bank, doesn't accept deposits, but writes checks to players who are
cashing out, said lawyer for the company, Jeff Ifrah. As a result, thousands of
players receiving checks from the company won't be able to cash them, he

In the last week, the major poker sites have also shut down some of the main
mechanisms for U.S. players to make deposits.