One month after the U.S. Department of Justice shut down the websites of popular poker rooms PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker, and indicted their owners and founders with charges of bank fraud and money laundering, actions that have become known in the industry as Black Friday, a federal grand jury in Maryland seized several gambling websites as part of indictments against what it deemed to be an “illegal gambling business.”
Among the sites seized was the Doylesroom poker room. Just recently, poker legend Doyle Brunson announced that he was ending his affiliation with that poker room and would only reenter the online poker business when it was fully legal in the United States.
The latest shutdowns mostly targeted sports betting sites and have been labeled Blue Monday as they were unsealed yesterday after the original indictments were returned on April 26.
“It is illegal for internet gambling enterprises to do business in Maryland, regardless of where the website operator is located,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “We cannot allow foreign website operators to flout the law simply because their headquarters are based outside the country.”
Titan Poker and the iPoker Network withdrew from the United States market following the passage in 2006 of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which makes it a crime for gambling businesses to knowingly accept most forms of payment in connection with the participation of another person in unlawful Internet gambling.
Doyle Brunson told gambling911.com earlier this month:
Reluctantly, I have decided to terminate my endorsement contract with Doylesroom.com. It pains me to leave at this time. I have aspirations of reentering the online poker business when the United States Government passes legislation that officially legalizes online poker sites. Doylesroom management has decided to continue to serve U.S. customers. Although they believe they have the right to market the name Doylesroom and to use my name and likeness for a period of time, I have asked them not to. Good luck -Shuffle up and deal.