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Issue 333
January 30 - February 5, 2007
Volume 7
page 1
 

This Issue

Gaming News

Casino City's January Sweepstakes

U.S. Internet deposit options shrinking

U.S. confirms loss in WTO Internet gambling case

Suspects indicted in casino theft

Massachusetts city pushes for casino

Show Time Bob Seger at the MGM

Column What cards to play by Elliot Frome

Check out our entertainment highlights & upcoming tournaments

See the lucky winners

 

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U.S. Department of Justice subpoenas major banks
By Ryan McLane

The U.S. Department of Justice has subpoenaed at least four high-profile investment banks as part of its continuing crackdown on the online gambling industry.

HSBC, Dresdner Kleinwort, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank were issued subpoenas in October – shortly after the signing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act -- according to reports from the Sunday Times of London.

HSBC Bank served as an adviser for 888 Holdings Plc, which floated on the London Stock market in September of 2005 and Deutsche Bank and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein served as advisors to PartyGaming, which floated in June 2005.

"The subpoenas were issued to firms that had underwritten the initial public offerings of some of the most popular online gambling sites that operate abroad," reported The New York Times Sunday.

The DOJ is requesting information including emails, telephone record and financial paperwork as part of the probe, according to the Sunday Times of London.

A U.S. Department of Justice spokesperson refused to confirm who was handling the case, but said that all media inquiries were to go through U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York's office.

Both the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. and the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York declined further comment.

The reports of subpoenas come one week after the same U.S. Attorney's office, lead by Michael J. Garcia, charged NETeller co-founders Stephen Lawrence and John LeFebvre with money laundering.

Both Lawrence and LeFebvre appeared in U.S District courts last week and were released on $5 million bail.

Casino City Reporter Bradley Vallerius contributed to this article.


U.S. Internet gambling deposit options shrinking
by Aaron Todd

The list of payment processors for American gamblers is shrinking rapidly in the wake of money laundering charges being filed against NETeller co-founders Stephen Lawrence and John LeFebvre.

NETeller, the world's largest online payment processor for Internet gamblers, and Citadel pulled out of the U.S. market Wednesday night.

And over the weekend, INSTADEBIT left the U.S. entirely while Click2Pay pushed the pause button on allowing new American accounts.

"Account registrations and transfers to and from merchants from your country of residence are denied due to the U.S. law," a recorded message on INSTADEBIT's customer service line informs U.S. callers. "If you have a balance in your INSTADEBIT account, you can log in to your account profile and withdraw the balance to your bank account. Please contact security at security@instadebit.com with any further questions. Thank you."

And while Click2Pay is still allowing existing customers to conduct business as usual with Internet gambling sites, as of Jan. 19, they are no longer opening new accounts for U.S. customers. Click2Pay would not comment on whether it would change its policy or if it has a timeline in which to do so.

The sudden lack of options for American gamblers is a huge sea change in just a week's time. While Poker Stars lists 17 deposit methods, only one (ePassporte) still accepts U.S. customers. Full Tilt has also pulled several deposit options, with Click2Pay, ePassporte and MoneyGram cash transfers being the only remaining options for Americans.

Absolute Poker, however, has moved past third-party payment processors and into processing credit card transactions. Transactions are not coded as Internet gambling transactions, and instead are processed by an outside company that appears as GLOBAL with a 1-800 number on credit card statements.

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