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Poker Players Alliance Files Against Online Poker Seizures

The motion to return seized online poker bank accounts by payment processor Account Services has been buttressed by a "friend of the court" brief by the PPA, saying online poker is not against the law.

The Poker Players Alliance filed a motion today asking to advise the court in the Account Services bank account forfeiture case that online poker is not illegal. The "amicus" brief supports Account Services' claim to have the seized funds restored on the grounds that the action by the US Attorney's Office was improper and unjustified.

Account Services filed its own motion this past Friday, asking that its money be returned as the seizure order was unlawful, on the grounds that due process had been denied and that poker is not against federal law.

The PPA brief contends that, because of the confirmed skill-dominant nature of the game, online poker is not a game of chance and therefore not illegal gambling. PPA executive director John Pappas asserts that court rulings and precedents back this claim, and that the PPA's participation in those cases means they are an integral part of the case.

"Recent rulings in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Kentucky and Colorado all affirmed that poker is a game of skill," said Pappas. "PPA was actively involved in representing the rights of poker players in each of the cases and should be able to do so at the federal level."

Both Account Services and the PPA say the account funds were monies being held for individual poker players, US residents whose rights have been violated. The US Department of Justice argues that all online gambling is illegal under the Wire Act, even though courts have instructed them that the Wire Act applies only to sports gambling, and even though Internet horse race betting occurs openly without federal interference.

Published on July 15, 2009 by A.J.Maldonado

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