With the forfeiture of $19.2 million by Firepay, owned by Optimal group inc. of Canada, the New York District Attorneys office is poised to go after more gaming companies that did business in the U.S. even before UIGEA became law.
Firepay had withdrawn from online gambling in the United States after UIGEA was enacted in October 2006. But the State of New York saw dollar signs and in 2007, started building a case against Firepay. They went back to the business Firepay did between 2004 and 2006 and decided that gamblers placed $19.2 million in wagers in that time.
So the State of New York then seized the said $19.2 million and started negotiations with Firepay. In the end, Firepay agreed to forfeit the $19.2 million in return for an agreement clearing it of any illegal activities. They also have to state that the online gambling agencies using their service knew that what they were doing was illegal.
So the State of New York is fully expected to go after many other online gambling companies for actions taken in 2006 and before. The states of Louisiana and Kentucky are also pursuing cases against online casino operators for processing financial payments. The only hope for respite seems to be the passing of the anti-UIGEA bills before congress right now. If they don’t get passed, it’s going to get really ugly out there.
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