June 12, 2009 (PAP Newswire) — A week after the U.S. government
made its first moves to freeze some $33 million in online poker
winnings by blocking several payment systems, a flood of media coverage seems to have worked in favor of the poker industry.
Stories like the one that recently appeared on ABC News about an online poker player who may be blocked from participating in the land-based (and completely legal) World Series of Poker (WSOP)
because of complications from this freeze are piling up. And they’re
also helping to stoke public outcry against the government for making
this move. (Read the ABC News story here.)
Over at the political blog site Huffington Post, a fairly high-profile blogger has accused President Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder,
of outright theft. The blogger does a good job of outlining the facts:
The government has no right to seize the money, because no illegal
activities were involved. And even if there were, the government
doesn’t have the right to seize money already won. (Read that article here.)
Meanwhile, Harrah’s has released a statement saying that the asset freeze has had “no impact” at all on the ongoing WSOP event in Las Vegas. Read that statement here.
The sites affected have reassured players that the inconvenience is
only temporary and that they will soon be paid they winnings they are
owed. Reports are that Full Tilt has already began paying players the owed money.