Poker Processor Tzvetkoff Issues Challenge To DOJ With 'Not Guilty' Plea

Jailed Australian Daniel Tzvetkoff would seem ready to take on the US Department Of Justice (DOJ) at their own game, after pleading not guilty in Manhattan’s New York Southern District Court to processing over $500 million worth of illegal internet gambling transactions.
The UIGEA bill of 2006, which comes into enforcement this June, makes the transference of funds from a financial institution to an Internet gambling site illegal.
However, the 27-year-old Tzvetkoff has decided instead to argue that poker is not gambling per se, and as such should be exempt from the UIGEA rules. As Arlo Devlin-Brown, the U.S. assistant attorney explains: “The gambling industry is using the line that poker is not gambling, that it’s a game of skill and is therefore not gambling.”
Defence lawyer Martin Weinberg has confirmed that this was an “accurate preview” of Tzvetkoff’s defence case and said his client pleads not guilty to the charges levelled against him of bank fraud, money laundering, gambling conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy.
In the past, similar cases involving such high profile business men as former BETonSPORTS CEO David Carruthers (UK), and in more recent news Douglas Rennick (CANADA), have relied on the defendants agreeing in advance to a plea bargain in return for forfeiture of funds and a reduced prison sentence.
However, Daniel Tzvetkoff’s approach in taking on the DOJ head-on would seem to involve a much riskier strategy and in the meantime the Australian internet tycoon once worth $A82 million will be left to languish in a Brooklyn Jail until June 2011 when the trial is set, after having his bail application refused.
One thing that is for sure, though, is that if the case does in fact go to its ultimate conclusion it may help the poker industry clear up once and for all the confusing status of online poker in the United States.

Other news:   Multi-state online poker compact bill introduced in Pennsylvania

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