US Poker Players Anxious As US Proposes Recording All Electronic TransfersSeptember 30, 2010 10:08 am
US poker players are already anticipating the worst after the Obama administration proposed the recording of all international electronic fund transfers, and not just those over $10,000.
If the new proposal comes to fruition then it would make it practically impossible for US players to transfer funds to a from their preferred poker sites, as the banks would be obliged to provide weekly reports of all international electronic transfers to US authorities.
As Financial Crimes Enforcement Director James H. Freis Jr explains:
“By establishing a centralized database, this regulatory plan will greatly assist law enforcement in detecting and ferreting out transnational organized crime, multinational drug cartels, terrorist financing and international tax evasion.”
Despite the Treasury Department’s claim that the new proposals are aimed at combating money laundering with links to sponsored terrorism, the online poker community in the US has an altogether different take on the matter.
Many believe that because online poker is legal in many countries outside of US jurisdiction, the government is now having to deliberately target the payment processors instead.
Following news of the far-reaching proposals, poker players have been venting their concerns all over the online forums with one particular Two Plus Two member stating:
“It will make enforcement and detection of American money transfers to poker sites outside the U.S. simple and easy. Until now these transactions have flown under the radar as a result of the fact they were never reported.”
“If you transfer money to a company that is now linked to money laundering, you run a real risk of becoming entangled in any legal prosecution of that entity if your name is associated with it. And now any financial association I have with that accused company will be transparent for the gov’t to see.”
It seems the US government has signalled its seriousness in pursuing the new proposals and is now considering setting aside $30 million to set up a bureau for handling the weekly reports from financial institutions.
If it goes ahead it will surely sound the death knell for US online poker.