November 5, 2009 (PAP Newswire) – Every week, it seems like there’s a new piece of news finding the United States penalizing financial companies for offering their services to the online gambling industry, or seizing account money associated with Internet poker.
This time, it’s a major Canadian online services processor that’s the victim of the United States government’s rabid anti-gambling bias. Canada-based Optimal Group Inc has agreed to pay $19.2 million “in criminal proceeds from processing payments for illegal Internet gambling websites between 2004 and 2006”, according to Reuters news service.
In the story, Optimal was quoted as acknowledging that it had done business with companies that had violated U.S. criminal law.
“Optimal, operating an electronic wallet called Firepay, processed more than $2 billion worth of illegal gambling transactions for United States customers,” stated the office of the U.S. Attorney in New York, per the Reuters article.
As the UIGEA gets wider enforcement thanks to the United States’ inability to address the issue in Congress, expect more stories like this. Eventually, all legitimate online poker business in the United States can probably be expected to pull out of the market altogether rather than risk this sort of heavy persecution.