Posts Tagged ‘neteller’

Collateral Damage in the War on Poker

by , Aug 12, 2011 | 1:02 pm

For whatever reason, don’t ask me to explain, I’ve started looking back through some of the 300-or-so unpublished posts in Pokerati’s drafts folder. LOL. I found the one pasted below, from early ’07 as I got caught up in the Neteller money grab. No clue why I never pressed publish … I think it was because I wanted to do more research to support a theory about CIA interest in the Muslim-world’s gold-backed e-dinar and/or find a picture of a cartoon terrorist.

But really, takes you back, doesn’t it? I would, of course, get my $520 before year-end — no interest though from the Feds for holding it. And the return of Neteller money back in ’07 is a reason many give for their confidence in some day getting repaid by Full Tilt. But when I look back at that case — though Neteller was in many ways the opening salvo in the US fight to shut down the online poker industry — I frankly see why the current round of money seizures are very different, and thus why repayment via Full Tilt is far less likely than the government’s eventual release of Neteller funds.

Looking back at this post, and the original article it was gonna link to, does remind me about issues of virtual currency that the world is still trying to resolve. We couldn’t know it at the time, but what we’re seeing now started out with poker players getting caught up in something that was about way more than poker:


Pennies from heaven (57,400 to be exact)

Check your spam filter, kids.

by , Jul 16, 2009 | 3:26 am

Found this little gemstone while doing a routine look-see of my spam filter today:

Your account requires
immediate action

As part of the Distribution Plan, you were given final notice in December of 2007 that you had until January 26, 2008 to withdraw funds from your NETELLER account. You still have 574 USD in your account.

To receive this money, please fill out and submit a request by July 26, 2009 and include your current mailing address. We will begin processing your request and, when approved, you will be mailed a cheque for the full balance.

Please note: if you do not request your funds by July 26, 2009 (at 11:59PM EDT), they will be forfeited.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Should you have any questions, please contact us at

NEOVIA Financial Plc
(Formerly NETELLER Plc Group)

Bank Freezes Raising Non-Poker Eyebrows

RE: Fed Crackdown on Online Poker Money Transfers (5)

by , Jun 10, 2009 | 2:07 pm

First Gambling 911 and Pokerati … then the Associated Press, and now MSNBC, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times are following aware of the $33 million of online poker winnings that has been frozen at the behest of an Assistant US Attorney in New York’s Southern District, the court that has historically created the most headaches for all things online poker.

ALT HED: Neteller 2?

The banks are deflecting blame and criticism, saying they’re simply complying with a federal court’s direction. Not surprising, of course, considering they aren’t really in a position to defy their new dot-gov overseers. The non-poker media probably doesn’t even give a shit about poker players — they just care right now about the relationship between government and banks … but hey, good to know … because just like government officials found a villain in the form of online gamblers to justify fingering its way into the bigger world of cross-border internet commerce, now online poker has a potential villain in bad, old-school governmenting (relying on nearly 50-year-old laws) to justify its immediate need to revise the laws that affect our multimillion-UScitizen industry.

To understand the brass tacks of what just happened and is happening, be sure to read the NYT story here:

Web’s Poker Winners Face Delay in Collecting
(Thanks, Lana, for the link!)

In it we learn:

  • Four American banks were hit with court papers — Wells Fargo, Citibank, Alliance Bank of Arizona, and one other — telling them to freeze the funds.
  • In part because of the secretive nature of grand juries, it’s not yet clear whether all are court orders or just friendly requests. (Ha.) Wells Fargo’s was an order.
  • Four online sites affected — Full Tilt, PokerStars, and two others.
  • Southern District prosecutors told at least one bank the funds in question “constitute property involved in money laundering transactions and illegal gambling offenses.”
  • The accounts frozen belong to Allied Systems and Account Services, two payment processors (at least one of which seems to be based in Canada).


Apparent Fed Crackdown on Online Poker Money Transfers

E-check withdrawals and deposits blocked

by , Jun 6, 2009 | 7:45 am

Normally we wouldn’t think much of a thread on 2+2 about some withdrawal problems at a major American-friendly online site. Usually these problems get resolved in a matter of days or maybe weeks, but this time something’s different.

Developing …

We’ll hold off on saying too much until we get more solid information, but basically, checks from PokerStars are “bouncing”, particularly with New York banks. Instant E-checks seems to be the payment processor most notably affected at present. However, it’s not just e-checks … paper checks are proving uncashable, too. Reliable sources tell us that this is not just a little snafu, but that it’s the direct result of DOJ enforcement actions somehow connected to the Federal Court in New York’s Southern District.

This is the same court, of course, that handled Neteller way back when, and more recently came to non-prosecution agreements guilty plea settlements with Anurag Dikshit et al. While the Party Poker dudes are officially in the clear,* is it possible the Feds are now saying, hey, that was fun, and we got a lot of money … let’s try it again with those PokerStars guys!?!

The FBI offers more clarity on who’s agreed to what between Party Poker peeps and the Feds here.

The best I can tell, right now Stars seems to be the target. No confirmation on the fates of Full Tilt and UB payment processing.

UPDATE: Problems at Full Tilt, too. (Thanks, Ken, for the info/link!) And Ultimate Bet.

Regardless, whatever shakes down (pun intended), it raises a lot of questions at an interesting time, considering how much big money gets transfered passed between poker players — particularly in the summer — often on an online site in exchange for casino chips and/or bricks of cash.

Might the value of the Euro have just gone up, at least in the poker economy? Seems plausible if they’re the only ones able to convert online bankrolls into real American WSOP buy-in dollars.

* Cases against (with?) two other Party principals, Ruth Parasol and Russ DeLeon, are still pending in the same court.

Part 2 of WaPo story now online

by , Nov 30, 2008 | 6:26 pm

For those that want to get an early jump on Monday’s story in the Washington Post about attempting to legalize online gambling, preferably poker, it’s now available here.

RE: Pure Raided by IRS

by , Feb 25, 2008 | 4:27 am

Norm Clarke — kinda like the Alan Peppard of Las Vegas, with an eyepatch — has the inside poop on the IRS shakedown of Pure. Does this sound familiar … an industry making ridiculous amounts of money, tons of it going untaxed … so the Feds rough up one of the big ones to get the model of how things really work? What happens from there I’m not so sure. But it’s kinda like Neteller, right? Either that or a mid-level agent got turned away at the door and was pissed! Evidentiary text messages between door guys and unthankful bottle-whales included … can’t wait ’til a little Paris Hilton-sex-and-drugs emerges somewhere in the records.

Meanwhile, this week, Pure will be the site of the “drawing party” for the NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship. I wonder what a doorman would say to anyone who slips him a twenty and asks for a receipt.

PokerBowl Update
Prize money on its way, “PBE” says; Go Due Diligence!

by , Jan 27, 2008 | 5:15 am

Slowly but surely, the fate of the US PokerBowl becomes clear-ish …

Another semi-private email went out this weekend to the winners who are still awaiting to be paid out. It says cash is ready to be handed over to its rightful owners — so long as they promise not to sue after they collect. Fair enough … (Presumably reliable super-secret inside sources say the unpaid PokerBowl prize money totals more than $400,000) … Step 2 will be to make-good with team managers and vendors (who might-should-wanna get in touch with this guy so they can square up some invoices).

Sounds plausibly legit, and I happen to fall in this category, so we’ll see …

ALT HED: Netellery?

Click below to read the soothing email:


Neteller Money Semi-returned!

by , Jul 30, 2007 | 9:38 am

Wow, that was a surprise … looks like Neteller funds have been freed up for US customers. Check it out:


We’ll see if it actually arrives. But no reason to believe it won’t. Quicker than I expected. Nice!

UPDATE: Money did arrive. Woo-hoo, pizza with extra toppings it is!

An Update on Updates

by , May 10, 2007 | 10:48 pm

On a lighter note…Bluff Magazine and PokerNews announced today they would be partnering up at the WSOP. Bluff, who will be covering the action in the Amazon Room and future circuits, has providing the live updates.

Also on Pokernews, our friend Amy has posted about the new Europe/Asia Neteller Debit Card. Who kept saying it’s all about Europe and Asia?

Games People Play, Take 2

by , May 7, 2007 | 1:47 am

Matt the tech-geekiest Batface sends along a Slashdot item about real-money video-game tourneys … a good example of how online poker’s current issues could have ramifications that reach far beyond just poker.

It’s a geeky corollary to online poker. Fairly similar in many regards, including the use/debate about Bots (read the comments) and of course the potential legal gray-area.

btw, FPS means ‘First Person Shooter’, in case you didn’t know. Pretty much describes any game where you kill/blow shit up.

Thanks for sending, Sommer.

Indeed, the video game industry has a major stake in the evolution of online gambling/gaming and the UIGEA. Already, you can play soccer online — the winner of the Fifa Interactive World Cup scored a $20k payday — and buy additional games on the XBox 360 for credits that you purchase at a brick-and-mortar store. (Interestingly enough, they have a Texas Hold’em game on there — and at a near-prohibitive cost of 800 credits … compared to, say, 150, for other games.) And even though video games are very arguably matters of skill, age-old concerns about cheating become a real issue. Just the other week I took on some punk from New Jersey who had a Ronaldinho with superpowers — like he could run five times as fast as any other player, and shoot missiles on-goal from anywhere on the field.

Now think about Second Life


Gonzales Woes: Good or Bad for Poker People?

by , Mar 29, 2007 | 3:56 am

Interesting story in today’s New York Times about Alberto Gonzales, the beleaguered U.S. Attorney General … “whose tenure at the Justice Department may still be in peril as lawmakers in both parties have called for his resignation, questioned his credibility and raised doubts that he can lead the department.”

Gonzales, of course, is a key factor (if not driving force) behind the crackdown on online gambling. So you gotta think getting rid of him would be a good thing, right? But we should also remember that, especially in the Bush administration’s waning years, just because there is a call for a resignation hardly means it will happen. And when a bureaucracy is troubled, just like a field of donkeys, they are apt to make rash, harmful decisions. So while maybe Gonzales (who was in Houston yesterday) may not be able to explain his mysterious firings, he conceivably could press even harder against online gambling just to change the subject.

My read on Alberto (in the face of growing criticism): total landmine.

NOTE: Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not … PartyGaming’s stock went up 2.5 percent when the NYT story broke.


by , Mar 28, 2007 | 8:06 am

It’s been way too long since I’ve done an Instapoker. Please bear with me as I delete emails and close down a random assortment of open tabs in my browser:

An interesting site about high-stakes online play.

IGGY is back posting at Guinness and Poker. Good for him … that’s where he belongs. Of course he should know that no one will believe word of his “retirement” ever again.

Another site that previously disappeared has since transmogrified … WPBT headquarters. (World Poker Blogger Tour, for those who don’t know.) Not sure who’s behind the new WIKI or where they’re going with it, but we’ll be clicking every once in a while to see what’s going on. (Go DOT-INFO!)

NETELLER is now pulling out of CANADA (where they are based) and TURKEY (which has arguably the toughest INTERNET POLICE FORCE out there.

Gambling 911 reports that there’s no record of Neteller funds seized by the United States. Disconcerting if true. A Neteller Customer Coalition has formed to, er, do something about it and/or at least have a place to bitch.

CHRIS FERGUSON’s boring table demeanor:

It supposedly SNOWED in LAS VEGAS yesterday.

And that comes just two weeks after the purchase of a DISNEYLAND-size swath of land on the SOUTH STRIP to become the site of a monstrous pee-recycling environmentally friendly indoor water park and “snow dome”. Via some presumably stoked BRITISH SNOWBOARDERS.

American poker money is getting more expensive. ULTIMATE BET has altered its affiliate agreements for US players, subtracting for “overhead.” UB was kind enough to let inform its AFFILIATES three weeks after the policy went into effect:

March 13, 2007

Attention Affiliates… Regarding US Traffic Only!
Effective: Thursday, February 22, 2007

UltimateBet is still holding a strong position in the U.S. market providing poker players from around the world with the very best online poker experience. We are 100% committed to staying in the U.S. and provide your players with the easiest, fastest, secure deposit and cashout options. However, in light of Neteller and other popular ewallets leaving the U.S., our processing fees have increased upwards of 5 times. These costs are higher due to the new and only deposit options available to U.S. customers, some of these deposit options also require UltimateBet to cash guarantee all funds – please note we keep a cash reserve to cover all of our player balances.

Due to this increase in costs, UltimateBet has amended its terms and conditions so we can stay in business to enable you and Ultimate Bet to keep making money and not be forced to leave the US market.

Calculation of Net Revenue has been amended to reflect the following:

All Affiliates are paid on net revenue. Net revenue is calulated by taking the gross revenue an affiliate’s player generates and subtracting any processing fees which can include:
Merchant processing fees;
Charge backs;
Processor default;
Tourney deductions;
Any other agreed upon deductions.
The amount of these deductions will be taken off of Gross Revenue. At that point the remaining number is considered the Net Revenue. You, the affiliate, will be paid based on this net revenue number.

Please see the example below:

Gross Revenue generated by the affiliate’s U.S. players.
Minus Processing Fees.
Minus tourney deductions and any other agreed upon deductions.
= Net Revenue.
You, the affiliate, are then paid their RevShare on this net revenue.

Last, we will combine your U.S . commission with your Non-U.S. commission for your total payment.
UltimateBet has the most competitive merchant processing in the industry – i.e. your customers will be able to deposit and cashout better with UltimateBet than any of our competitors – this means higher customer lifetime values and bigger checks for you that will continue!

By staying in the U.S., UltimateBet is making the commitment to allow you to continue to make money!

Your non-U.S. traffic will not be included in these changes. This is only for U.S. traffic.

Effective: Thursday, February 22nd!

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us!

The UltimateBet Team

Speaking of ULTIMATE BET, I think this is the kind of questionable appropriation of the WSOP LOGO that HARRAH’S says it will frown upon vigorously be trying to stop:

(Note: No offense to MEAN GENE, who is just doing his job.)

Speaking of jobs, PAULY, OTIS, and the SHRINK are kickin’ it in MONTE CARLO.

And Pauly has an awesome interview with the hip-hoppinest PROFESSIONAL KENO PLAYER, who happens to be from TEXAS.

There’s more stuff going on, of course … but I think that’s good for now.

Neteller Update

by , Mar 22, 2007 | 6:54 am

Neteller says to Americans: Don’t worry, you’ll get your money back we’re trying to get you your money back (at least some of it).

According to yesterday’s press release, Neteller has signed agreements with the US Attorney’s Office and some forensic accountants with Navigant Consulting. The plan: To have a plan in about 75 days.

Sounds good, I suppose. But as one of many Americans (does anyone know an actual number?) whose Neteller money has been seized by the Feds, I’m not banking on much. In fact, read the Neteller FAQ … I know they’re just playing it conservatively, most likely on the advice of counsel, but really, at least a few things are a little bothersome, not just because I want my $520. First, there is no reassurance that, yes, you will definitely get all your money back. They talk about coming up with a plan to “distribute” funds … but really, what does that mean? We’re not looking for you to come up with a socialist system for spreading around a portion whatever capital you have on hand … we are looking for access to our own kizzash, yo!



by , Feb 14, 2007 | 10:05 am

It’s snowing outside. If you don’t mind, please bear with me as we shut down about 30 open Firefox tabs that Pokerati has accumulated over the past few days.

First off, happy February 14. If you do a Yahoo! or Google image search for “valentine poker” (quotes excluded) here’s the first thing you see:

HOLLAND has officially legalized online poker, licensing the game to its government-run land-based casino. This development comes shortly after a round of raids on AMSTERDAM home games. (See the connection?)

UTAH has no intentions of legalizing gambling, but the state did amend some recent legislation to ensure that AMATEUR TEXAS HOLD’EM is allowed in bars.

Meanwhile, WYOMING is one step closer to legalizing “social” cash games in bars and restaurants, though big tourney action may still be outlawed.

A lot’s going down in MACAU, which apparently generated more gambling revenue than LAS VEGAS in 2006. This sorta expansion has Virgin pioneer RICHARD BRANSON putting a few billion into the Asian gambling pot.

But Chinese casino mogul STANLEY HO isn’t gonna let the round-eyes gank all his action.

JOHNNY CHAN has plans to eventually open shop in Macau (and elsewhere) — has partnered with the makers of The Block to create “the world’s first poker hotel.” Tourney director extraordinaire MATT SAVAGE is part of his team — we can only hope this doesn’t mean all of China will be taught to do the flop one card at a time.

Here’s a pokery valentine, from CUBA:

Speaking of communism, you probably have heard by now that the US ATTORNEY’S OFFICE has seized $55 million worth of Neteller funds as evidence.

About $520 of that belongs to yours truly. I suppose that makes me COLLATERAL DAMAGE in the [tag]War on Poker[/tag]:

Here is what Neteller has to say about how and when we will get our money.

Amy and the Shrink have an update on the investigation into a seriously BOTCHED COLOR-UP during last year’s WSOP main event.

It coincides with news that HERSHEY’S has been named the Official Chocolate of the 2007 WSOP. Mmmm, two million extra chocolate chips!

POKERTEK, makers of dealerless electronic poker tables, is being sued by TELLIS, a TEXAS-based software company that doesn’t even have a website.

Haley continues to investigate the legal battles between HARRAH’S and FREDERIC SCHIAVO over the rights to WSOP.COM.

This valentine from suggests that while a man’s hand may seem stronger than a woman’s … it’s still possible that she’s holding the nuts:

UPDATE: Just re-watched the vid, and the lady actually would need some help on the turn to make her straight-flush.

Did you know the proportion of WOMEN PLAYING POKER continues to grow? The XX-chromosome set reportedly represents 30 percent of online players now.

BRANDI HAWBAKER, cute-as-pie poker girl and Full Tilt nipple-cover model, has reportedly found a new way to fund her bankroll by stripping at SPEARMINT RHINO. (Congrats on the new sponsorship deal!)

Remember, on February 14 and forever …