Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Tzvetkoff’

Wider World of Poker

by , Mar 23, 2012 | 10:18 am

Today my mum phoned to explain how important it was that I go outside to get some sunshine. I had to tell her: So committed am I to gathering up the choicest morsels of news-meat that I will heedlessly flout my body’s basic Vitamin D requirements. Noble reader, if you find me sprawled in bed with my skin turned to dust (or whatever happens to people who don’t get enough sunlight), lay me on a poker table, set it alight and push it through the Rio. It’s what the Vikings would have wanted.

Aussie ‘Supergrass’ To Testify

The catalyst for Black Friday, Daniel Tzvetkoff, is to testify on April 9th at the trials of Chad Elie and John Campos. The Australian millionaire made his fortune as the head of Instabill, a payment processor frequently used by online poker players. After being arrested in April 2010 he become an informant, providing U.S. federal authorities with the evidence they needed to bring down PokerStars and Full Tilt. [The Australian]

UK Market No Longer Tax Free 

On Wednesday, a pasty-faced man with a red briefcase came before the people of Britain with a special list of things for the nation to complain about. The Budget, as it is more commonly known, contained information about big changes to the UK gaming sector. From now on operators will be required to pay tax on all profits generated by British players. [Poker Fuse]

Ups and Downs for Bwin

Bwin, the Austrian half of, have had a mixed week. On the positive side, they released a new app for real-money poker on the iPad. Their network is now smushed together with Party Poker, so there should be plenty of action to keep you busy on the train or the toilet. Or the toilet on the train.

More negatively, Spanish lawmakers have decreed that football teams may not carry sponsorship logos belonging to companies not locally domiciled. Bwin operate from a zeppelin above the mountains of Mars Gibraltar and are therefore required to end their lucrative deal with league-topping Real Madrid. [Gaming Intelligence] & [The Olive Press]

All Alderney All the Timealderney map

The Alderney Gambling Control Commission added their 100th licensee this week in the form of the Relax Gaming network. Head of e-Commerce at Alderney, Robin LePrevost, was bullish about the island’s reputation after Black Friday, claiming that they have seen no slowdown in applications. Their questionable regulation of Full Tilt may not have stemmed the flow, but the addition of nearby Jersey to the license-providing market may have a more profound impact. [Card Player]

iSeriesLIVE to Debut in Ireland

The iSeriesLIVE is a brand new venture which allows viewers to wager on poker as it plays out live. The inaugural event takes place in Dublin on April 5th and features the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, and Faraz Jaka. As it unfolds, PaddyPower will be taking bets on the next elimination, how red or black the next flop will turn out, and all manner of ridiculous wagers. It’s all the fun of poker degeneracy without the inconvenience of actually having to actually play poker. [iSeriesLIVE]

I shall bid you adieu in the form of a congratulation. Noted wit-merchant David Mitchell is to tie the knot with poker player and journalist Victoria Coren. I’m happy for the couple, of course, but I’d mainly like to congratulate the universe for being a place in which two such interesting people can come together in the pursuit companionship and mysterious bedroom activities. A quick word to David, you might want to read up a little before the wedding night.

Players Shouldn’t Expect Money Back without Facing Tax Problems

by , Apr 18, 2011 | 4:54 pm

Sanford Millar


There are two actions pending against online poker companies in the Southern District of New York — an indictment of individual defendants, and a civil forfeiture complaint against the companies. The civil forfeiture complaint seeks forfeiture of all assets of the defendants, including specified domains and bank accounts.

There have been several civil and criminal forfeiture cases brought by the DoJ in recent years, including Daniel Tzvetkoff’s and Douglas Rennick’s (which are the original and first superseding indictments in the current case). Similar forfeiture cases have also been brought against other payment processors, but in none of these cases, as far as I know, have the Poker companies filed claims objecting to the seizures. Also of note is that no players made claims either.

Any player who makes a claim [for their deposits] should expect criminal inquiry by the FBI and IRS, and would not be able to recover on provable claims for some time. If the Poker companies default on the civil forfeiture, players will have no real legal recovery.

For the purpose of filing Foreign Bank Account Reports, some players may have taken the position, consistent with the position of the IRS, that they are general unsecured creditors in a common pool fund of deposits, and as such have no control or discretion over the investment of the funds. If this position is correct, then the DoJ’s forfeiture claims may have legs, as there may be no players to come forward able to make the specific factual statements necessary for a bonafide claim. Further, in order for the Poker companies to make claims, they likely would have to submit to jurisdiction of the U.S. and open their books and records to the DoJ and IRS among others.


GamingCounsel’s Weekly Briefs

Midterm elections, Tzvetkoff’s Vegas loans, Polish gambling, Zynga mobile

by , Nov 10, 2010 | 6:43 pm

I know that these past few days everyone’s been talking about Jonathan Duhamel’s triumph in the November Nine. Sadly, I wasn’t in Las Vegas for it and it has been covered much better than I ever could elsewhere. In lieu of that, here are my thoughts on some of the interesting legal developments in gaming over the past week:

  1. American Midterms (Part I) – Top story last week & top 2 stories this week. As expected, the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives, Representative Boehner will be the next Speaker, and Senator Reid kept his seat and his job as Senate Majority Leader. (Aside: great article here on how Reid pulled it off.) What does it all mean? It’s too soon to say. I continue to think that the general trend towards legalization in the US will continue and that, if nothing passes during the lame duck session of Congress, there may be more going on in intra-state gaming in the coming year than in Congress. However, it may be that a new bill (sponsored by Senator Reid) could be passed during the lame duck and legalize poker. Keep watching. [Examiner; Poker News Daily]
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  3. American Midterms (Part II) – During the midterms, there were many races and referenda addressing local gaming issues. There’s a great summary of many of them by Sarah Klaphake Cords at Casino Enterprise Management here.
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  5. Tzvetkoff Squirrel Funds – This is a story that’s been followed by those in online poker for months. Daniel Tzvetkoff created a payment processor in Australia called Intabill. He is alleged to have defrauded several Internet poker operators and was arrested in Las Vegas earlier this year on money laundering charges, among others. Most seem to think that he’s co-operating with federal authorities. Now come allegations that funds from the payment processing business were squirreled away in a payday lending company in Las Vegas called Hugo Services. Apparently some $50 million are at stake. If true and if the federal government hasn’t already seized it, Daniel’s and Intabill’s creditors can be expected to make a move against it to try to recoup some of their losses. [Courier and Mail]
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  7. Increase in Polish Internet Gambling – In case any more evidence were needed that banning Internet gambling doesn’t reduce its incidence, apparently Poles will have gambled away 20% more by the end of this year than they did in the year in which Internet gambling and advertising was outlawed in Poland. [Warsaw Business Journal]
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  9. Zynga on the Go – These guys have been in the press a lot lately, and especially in the past week. First came news that Zynga Game Network’s estimated worth exceeded video gaming giant Electronic Arts’s market value. (Apparently, Zynga is worth $5.5 billion.) Now Zynga is being touted as a player in mobile gaming. It already has a Texas Hold’em game available on Facebook that supports 6 million users daily. More proof that the next wave of gaming is already underway and will involve social media and mobile gaming. Watch these guys and other players in this developing market. []

Attorney Stuart Hoegner regularly follows matters of international gaming law; you can follow him @GamingCounsel on Twitter.

Forbes Calling Out Online Poker Woes

by , May 13, 2010 | 9:45 am

Check it out … from Forbes magazine:

Online Poker War Heats Up
The Department of Justice bags a Canadian payment processor in its fight against online poker. Are the big online firms next?

Interesting … these biz-media guys may not really get poker, but they do listen to The Poker Beat presumably understand a thing or two about multi-national finance and how putting rich white guys behind bars can be good for traffic circulation.

Generally, the poker world has always celebrated when the big online companies always got some mainstream media attention. But who knew there could even be a story without a press release from Full Tilt or PokerStars?

Tzvetkoff Bail Rescinded

Payment processor to stay behind bars for trial

by , Apr 29, 2010 | 7:03 am

Yep, it’s official … the Feds weren’t gonna let Daniel Tzvetkoff get away/offed before his historic UIGEA case made it to trial. Yesterday, as we were half-reporting on this likely development, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan — in New York’s Southern District, of course — was issuing the order over-riding the conditional bail granted by Las Vegas federal magistrate Peggy Leen … (who apparently didn’t get the memo about how serious the Feds were taking this case!)

Click here to read the court order assuring Tzvetkoff will remain behind bars throughout the pre-trial process.

The reason Judge Kaplan cited for denying bail was “a serious risk the defendant will not appear” as he faces “clear and convincing evidence” against him.

Heads-up credit to @GamingCounsel.

Not So Fast on Tzvetkoff Bail, NY Court Is Saying

Payment processor still in Vegas jail

by , Apr 28, 2010 | 5:13 pm

Despite reports to the suggestive contrary, indicted online poker payment processor Daniel Tzvetkoff has not been released on bail. The 27-year-old Australian, who briefly lived the “baller” life of a gray-market money-transfering kingpin, is still in custody in the North Las Vegas Detention Center, awaiting a decision from a federal judge in New York on his temporary fate, according to a Deputy US Marshal in Las Vegas.

As the first ever accused UIGEA criminal, Tzvetkoff faces up to 75 years in prison on multiple fraud and money laundering charges related to his dealings with American online poker players, American banks, and American-friendly online poker sites, including Full Tilt, PokerStars, Absolute, and Ultimate Bet.

Though I don’t fully understand all the jurisdictional details, supposedly the district court in New York trumps any ruling from the federal magistrate in North Las Vegas, who granted bail on the surety of his father’s $1.2 million house in Brisbane and the condition that the elder Tzvetkoff would drive his son to New York where he will be tried.


The Poker Beat (Criminal Minded)

by , Apr 27, 2010 | 11:36 am

If you missed it last week, one of our more astute hirsute co-panelists on The Poker Beat was break-dancing the fine line between news and conspiracy theory in analyzing the changing legal landscape of poker and what it means to the business we all dabble in.

The arrest of Daniel Tzvetkoff had something to do with that.

Also BJ and Gary look at actual numbers in comparing/contrasting the WPT to the EPT. All while assessing whether or not PokerStars is taking over the world. Plus Liv Boeree kicking arse as Huff celebrates the glorious life of Gang Starr.


The Poker Beat

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UPDATE: New audio file click here

RE: First Criminal Indictment for UIGEA Violations

by , Apr 22, 2010 | 3:05 am

Apparently, some in the non-poker media recognize the historic nature of the first-ever UIGEA charges — and they’re not happy about it. Check out Reason Magazine’s jumping to the defense of Daniel Tzvetkoff, or at least being extremely of Department of Justice pursuits:

Getting Away With Poker
How is helping people play a card game like murder?

I find this article particularly interesting because of how it pairs politically with the recent story in The Hill about legalized online gambling creating jobs, according to a new study. Though jobs are appealing on both sides of the aisle, it’s clearly an issue the Dems are looking to own in coming months.

Meanwhile, Reason, a Libertarian magazine, speaks more to the Tea Party set. So regardless of what happens to Tzvetkoff, you gotta like the plausibly bipartisan sales pitch taking shape in the Beltway for whatever online poker bills may or may not come to fruition later this year.


Tzvetkoff Granted Bail

Accused UIGEA violator could live under house arrest

by , | 1:57 am

A Las Vegas federal judge granted Australian Daniel Tzvetkoff bail as he awaits trial on four charges related to more than half a billion dollars worth of bank fraud, money laundering, and UIGEA violations. The 28-year-old payment processor faces up to 75 years in prison for his actions — essentially transferring funds between US online poker players and sites the Department of Justice considers to be “illegal internet gambling companies”.

Prosecutors protested his release, claiming he was a flight risk as a foreign national who is believed to have a $100 million hidden stash at his disposal.


Rogue Payment Processor Arrested in Las Vegas
Accused of Laundering Full Tilt, PokerStars, UB Money

First criminal indictment for UIGEA violations

by , Apr 17, 2010 | 4:48 am

Daniel Tzvetkoff, first accused UIGEA criminal: Whoever said being a douchebag was a crime?

Dude … it’s gettin’ hot here in the US … specifically in Las Vegas.

Yesterday federal authorities arrested Daniel Tzvetkoff, a 27-year-old Australian national “on charges that he assisted illegal internet gambling companies by processing approximately $500 million in transactions between U.S. gamblers and internet gambling websites and disguising the transactions to the banks so that they would appear unrelated to gambling,” according to a statement from the DOJ’s Southern District of New York.

Illegal internet gambling companies? Yikes …

Tzvetkoff, as founder of Intabill and ACH System, faces up to 75 years in prison for bank fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to operate and finance an illegal gambling business, and … get this … for processing fund transfers in violation of the UIGEA.

I’m pretty sure that’s the first ever indictment to bring up UIGEA charges.

About a year ago the Australia Courier-Mail reported that Tzvetkoff owed Full Tilt, PokerStars, Ultimate Bet, and Absolute Poker more than $30 million as the overextended, ostentatious Gen-Y tycoon’s personal empire was crumbling. Then, Full Tilt (through Kolyma Corporation) sued Tzvetkoff in Australian Court, saying his company Intabill owed them $52 million.

Before his arrest, he was saying Full Tilt tricked him into a bad deal and his lawyer doublecrossed him. He blamed the economy for a multi-multi-millionaire having to declare bankruptcy earlier this year. More on the pre-arrest rise and fall of an online poker payment processor here.

I mean for chrissakes, he drove a Lamborghini with the license plate “BALLER”! And when a bank repossessed a competitive race car of his, they got everything except its $100k engine, which had been stripped out and hidden.

Click below for the official word from the DOJ: