Posts Tagged ‘Todd Lyons’

In Brief: Legal Biznass

Poker Law, Politics, Business, and Crime

by , Dec 8, 2011 | 6:26 pm

We spend so much time reading about poker legal developments here at Pokerati that we sometimes forget to share the relevant news before the cycle turns to something else … and then I complain that our readers here aren’t as smart anymore as they used to be? It doesn’t take a JD to see the flaw in my logic there. Thus, here’s a much-needed batch of recent highlights and hedlines to keep the incessant but important buzz in context … a semi-special link-dump, btw, brought to you by our new-good friends at LegalPokerSites.com:

First UIGEA Conviction in the Books The DOJ logged their first win on UIGEA charges — making the supposedly weak law thus far undefeated — against online sportsbook operator Todd Lyons. His arrest back in May 2010 shoulda been a big warning sign to American online poker operators (and players?) — and Full Tilt specifically — that the DOJ was coming to get them! [CalvinAyre.com]

First Black Friday Trial Date Set John Campos and Chad Elie, the Utah banker and PokerStars payment processor indicted for their role in online poker criminal activity, have a trial date in March … creating a tangible timeline for Black Friday cases and added pressure on the big fish the DOJ really wants — Isai Sheinberg, Ray Bitar, and Scott Tom. [Legal Poker Sites]

MGM Sues Poker Domain Squatters Just as Caesars sued (and won) to obtain the domain WSOP.com, MGM has filed suit to repossess the domains mgmpoker.com, bellagiopoker.com, luxorpoker.com, mandalaybaypoker.com, and ariapoker.com. Apparently the casino giant thinks they’ll have need for them soon. [VegasInc]

Barton Says Online Poker Bill Still Alive This Congress Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) gave a luncheon keynote at the DGLP, where he spelled out how his online poker bill is moving forward as a piece of stand-alone legislation and/or still could be absorbed into some omnibus bills. Pretty straight-forward, honest-sounding stuff as Barton even talks about his own live real-money play and admits to multi-accounting for play money on PokerStars. [Pokerati Soundcloud]

Adelson Balks at Readiness for Online Poker The poker masses got spun into a tizzy after Vegas politico Jon Ralston “reported” that Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson has been buzzing around DC that he is morally opposed to online gambling … and that age-verification technology isn’t ready yet. Ralston concludes that this could kill online poker’s chances in Congress as if Adelson alone is more powerful than the combined forces of Caesars, MGM, Steve Wynn, Station Casinos, Boyd Gaming, Michael Gaughan, et al. Quick to cry, some poker players have begun calling for a boycott of Venetian Poker. [Las Vegas Sun]

Nevada Regulations Almost Ready While so many chatter about complex details of future online poker, the Nevada Gaming Commission and State Gaming Control Board seem to be the only ones systematically moving forward with thorough, enforceable rules and regulations for online gaming. In one of the biggest overhauls to state gaming regs in history, they just released a whole bunch of revisions for licensure and suitable ownership that Big and Small casinos alike are paying close attention to. [gaming.NV.gov]

Fry Howie? Funny/sad, shortly after Black Friday I thought we might be seeing T-shirts that said “Free Howard!” not “Fry Howard!” But loyalty can be a fickle bitch when you eff up with someone else’s money. Hence this flash creation for players wishing to express their personal outrage against Full Tilt and Howard Lederer violently. [PokerListings]

UB Player Database Leaked Lots of offline debate over how and why nearly 3 million poker-player IDs leaked out. Work of a disgruntled employee or scuttling the ship before UB ultimately hits sea-floor? And will there be more such pressings of self-destruct? [Haley’s Poker Blog]

Rest o’World: Cyprus on Crackdown, South Africa’s Open-Market Mind, German Pre-unification Some of the other key political moves from the rest of the world, as the future of legal online poker (and gambling) actively takes shape … the mediterranean island that isn’t Malta doesn’t have moral opposition, they just want their cut (kinda like Kentucky) … while South Africa continues its progressive-minded movement from staunch opposition to tolerance to active support of online gambling … all while the German province of Schleswig-Holstein’s acceptance of new online poker rules is so big it actually moved some major market needles. [Legal Poker Sites]


Another UIGEA Arrest, This One on Barney Frank’s Home Turf

by , May 16, 2010 | 9:10 am

Sorry for missing this, but I guess I hit the Google snooze alarm. Ten days ago, federal authorities arrested Todd Lyons, 36, of Beverly, Massachusetts, for allegedly running an offshore sports betting operation called Sports Offshore. They pretty much threw the book at him, levying 36 criminal charges — fraud, money laundering, racketeering, tax crimes, you name it … and one of them for violating the UiGEA.

Nothing to do with poker specifically at first glance … but if you believe the Feds don’t operate in a vacuum, there seems to be a message here that might-should have a few Poker After Dark regulars shitting bricks taking note …

I learned about the arrest from J. Todd, whom I find myself paying closer attention to than before as the June 1 D-Day approaches. However, point of order, dude, I think you got it wrong saying Lyons was the first ever UIGEA arrest. I’m 99.99 percent sure he was the second. You gotta read your Pokerati, man, where you’ll see that the first was Daniel Tzvetkoff. It’s right there, charge #4, in the criminal complaint from the DOJ! Reason magazine saw the same thing, too.

With that out of the way (we understand typos here), let’s look a little closer at this case and how it may or may not be different from payment processor arrests related to online poker …

First off, this indictment does not come out of the Southern District of New York, which we know is where the biggest poker heat has been coming from. However, is it just a coincidence that the first UIGEA arrest happened in Las Vegas (capital of the poker world) and the second was in Massachusetts (home to the biggest Congressional opponent of the UIGEA). The message someone could read here is “Barney Frank can’t save you!”

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