US Government Rakes $13.3 Million From PokerStars Payment Processors
August 18, 2021
Poker payment processors Allied Wallet Inc. and Allied Systems Inc., both owned by Ahmad Khawaja, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, paid their way out of some trouble yesterday in a Manhattan federal court house by agreeing to allow the U.S. government to keep $13.3 million in previously confiscated funds, which were allegedly related to payments for popular online poker site PokerStars

The funds, which the U.S. Department of Justice specifically contends were being used to “...promote the carrying on of an illegal gambling business," can apparently be successfully linked to PokerStars’ operation in the Isle of Man, though the prosecutors contend that Khawaja’s companies did their best to disguise that fact. 

Portions of the $13.3 million are also said to be a result of direct wire transfers from outside the U.S., made "by individuals and entities who knew that the funds involved represented the proceeds of the illegal transmission of gambling information and the operation of an illegal gambling business,”- a significant component of the government’s case that these funds were involved in money laundering.

Although there is still no direct legal evidence to support the claim that internet poker is illegal in the U.S., that clearly hasn’t stopped certain government entities from using the recently enacted Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act to go after poker specific payment processors; a continuing trend that may only grow, until at least the country’s foggy online gambling laws finally- for better or worse- become clear.

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