In a continuing campaign against Internet casinos, the US federal government are preventing all online gambling websites from paying any debts they owe to US resident players. Their most effective method is by seizing money kept in bank accounts they deem are meant for that purpose.
This week, the government have seized two further bank accounts that have been linked with payments made to online gambling website customers in the US. Baltimore’s City Paper has reported that a total of $365,000 has been taken under warrant from accounts that are owned by the Atrium Financial Group in connection with payments made to online gambling customers.
This latest seizure warrant differs from others in that it had not been sealed from the public’s view. It was issued by the District Judge Beth Gesner and the affidavit was sworn out by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement official. The wording of the affidavit makes it clear that the federal government has the full intent to disrupt and block payments meant for US residents owed monies by online casinos.
Indications are that undercover officers are locating bank accounts by requesting payouts from the online gambling websites that they sign up for. In this latest case involving Atrium, an undercover officer working for Louisiana’s State Police Department had managed to open an account with Golden Casino, then some time later requested a payout.
As online gambling is illegal in Louisiana and the Golden Casino is respected as a reputable company that does respect local laws, it took a concerted effort by officers to open the account in the first place, as they were repeatedly blocked by the casino’s protective software. However, their tenacity paid off and a constant bombardment of applications eventually got them past the software.
The payments received by officers was paid from one of the Atrium accounts, which confirmed Atrium as being one of those companies utilized by Golden Casino for paying US based customer debts. By seizing the account, law enforcement are preventing any payments to customers while still allowing deposits to be made, thereby making the dangers of online gambling to consumers a real life self-fulfilling prophecy.