The Online Poker Crackdown

The United States cracks down on online poker. Billions in the pot. We look at a gambling world on the move.

Jeff Markley, an online media executive, peruses Full Tilt, Bodog and Poker Stars online on three screens in his office in Atlanta, in October of 2006. (AP)

Jeff Markley, an online media executive, peruses Full Tilt, Bodog and Poker Stars online on three screens in his office in Atlanta, in October of 2006. (AP)

Online poker blew up big in the United States in the last half dozen years. Huge. Millions of players. Billions in the pot.

Little players, and mid-sized, and big dogs — the sharks — who raked in very handsomely at the top of the heap. Lots of buzz and heat and money.

Then, on April 15, it all came crashing down. Busted. Federal authorities moved in, seized websites, froze assets and brought charges: bank fraud, money laundering, online gambling.

Shocked, shocked!, there was gambling — poker — in this arena.

This hour On Point: the big flame-out and fate of online poker.

- Tom Ashbrook


Vin Narayanan, managing editor at the Casino City Times, where he’s been covering online poker and the DOJ crackdown.

Jeffrey Standen, law professor at Willamette University, where he teaches sports and gaming law. He blogs about the legal issues behind sports, gaming, and gambling at “The Sports Law Professor.

Scott Dorin, professional poker player who has been playing for a living since graduating college in 2008.

As the Justice Department investigates online gaming, many poker sites have freezed deposits. Full Tilt Poker has this message on its homepage:

Full Tilt

Along with the Department of Justice logos, some of the text reads:

“Full Tilt Poker has always maintained the highest levels of integrity and compliance with the law. Due to recent events Full Tilt Poker is unable to accept ‘Real Money’ play from customers located in the United States. However, please know that your funds are safe and secure we are working to resolve the distribution of these funds.”

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