Online Poker

PartyGaming Reaches Settlement with US Govt

by Poker Team

PartyGaming, the operators of PartyPoker, once the leading online poker platform in the United States has just reached agreement with the US government on a Non-Prosecution Agreement.  As part of the agreement, PartyGaming has agreed to pay $105 million in fines.  The schedule the payments will be made is as follows:

• 10 April 2009           - $5m
• 30 September 2009  - $10m
• 31 March 2010         - $15m
• 30 September 2010  - $15m
• 31 March 2011         - $15m
• 30 September 2011  - $15m
• 31 March 2012         - $15m
• 30 September 2012  - $15m

In addition to the large fine, PartyGaming also had to issue a statement which outlined what they did against the law.  Among the items admitted were:

• From 1997 until October 2006, PartyGaming offered internet gambling to United States players and among the games offered were online poker and casino games.

• The company voluntarily left the US market when the UIGEA was enacted.

• Prior to the UIGEA enactment, PartyGaming received payments from third parties which violated US laws.

• PartyGaming has agreed to continue to not allow US players to play on their sites.

Depending on one’s point of view, this development can be viewed as both interesting and alarming.  On the plus side, it I encouraging to see that the company is now longer on the Us government’s proverbial hit list.  On the other hand, the US has basically strong armed an internationally based company into paying an enormous fine for violations committed before said broken laws were even in effect.  A development such as this could set a problematic precedent as there were other companies who did just as PartyGaming did, which was operated a business in the US which was legal and then immediately close up shop once laws changed.

One thing which is up for debate is whether PartyGaming’s cooperation could be paving the way for their return to the US should laws once again change.

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