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Casino City's Top-10 online gaming stories from 200829 December 2008
10. Chips fly and records fall at Full Tilt
Dwan got things started when he captured a pot worth $617,968. Later that night Juanda took down a $678,069 pot, before Mr. Ivey got into the action, beating out Juanda for another record-breaking pot worth $687,622. Just nine hours later, Di "urindanger" Dang finished off the record-setting day at Full Tilt, winning a pot worth $723,938 with the help of pocket aces.
9. Calvin Ayre's "retirement"
Since this is Bodog we're talking about, questions were raised as to what exactly this meant. Was Calvin literally retiring and heading off into the sunset? Was he trying to avoid the Feds? Or was this some sort of publicity stunt?
Then, in classic Calvin Ayre style, the Bodog founder somewhat clarified his move on his blog stating, "You've likely heard the rumblings and rumors….and for once…..it's true…I'm packing it in! Well who am I kidding, if you're reading this now you know that for the past few years I've been pretty focused on jetting around the world to exotic places and filming crazy sh** for this blog. I was really more of a brand ambassador for Bodog the past while anyway – but it was fun while it lasted."
All cynicism aside, Calvin also stated in his blog that he was going to focus his e on a "balanced private life" and "The Calvin Ayre Foundation, which I am truly passionate about." No matter what the real story was behind his "retirement" you have to hand Calvin credit for the growth of his foundation.
8. IRS seizes Bodog payment processors
The news of the seizure came to the forefront in late July when it was revealed that a two-year IRS investigation into Bodog resulted in the seizure of more than $24 million from two payment processors. On Jan. 24 and Feb. 19, the IRS seized about $14.2 million from JBL Services. And on July 2, it seized about $9.87 million from ZipPayments. Bodog quickly released a statement saying the seizures didn't affect its business.
"Not one single player failed to get paid when this processor (JBL Services) was disrupted," Alwyn Morris, chief executive officer of Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, which assumed ownership and operation of Bodog in North America in mid-2007.
7. Online gaming sites attacked by bots
The Shadow Foundation traced the initial attacks to a server hosted by Layered Technologies. That server was shut down, but the botnet moved to a new host and IP address.
"DDos attacks are always going to be out there," said Andre M. DiMino, director of the Shadowserver Foundation. "In the past, they were used to show the might of the botnet. But the real purpose for botnets now is fraud and identity theft."
6. AGA President announces shift in attitude for online gambling
While we are likely a long away from this becoming a reality, Fahrenkopf's announcement was a good start, especially if you consider that in the past the AGA's stance towards online gambling was much unenthusiastic.
5. Norway passes own version of UIGEA
Fortunately, it is unlikely the ban will go into effect until mid-2009 at the earliest, but this still remains as yet another black mark for the industry in 2008.
4. PartyGaming founder pleads guilty
The guilty plea meant that the 37-year-old waived his right to indictment by a grand jury. As part of the plea, Dikshit agreed to cooperate with the U.S. Department of Justice and forfeit a total of $300 million. He was released on $15 million personal recognizance bail, but he faces up to two years in prison. The sentencing curiously won't occur for another two years, however.
The Poker Players Alliance was quick to comment on the story. Alphonse D'Amato, chairman of the PPA, emphasized that the settlement was a personal one that in no way constitutes a legal precedent and does nothing to clarify the confusing interpretation of the Wire Act by the Department of Justice.
3. Microgaming bails out of U.S. The impact from the Kentucky domain seizure case (see item No. 2 on this list) was felt big-time when Microgaming – one of the world's largest Internet gaming software providers – announced that not only would it be pulling out of Kentucky but also begin blocking new registrations from all U.S. players.
It's one thing to have a court announce that 14online gambling sites that were subject to a seizure order. But when one of the most well-known software providers reacts to it by entirely pulling out of the U.S., it makes the effect that much more daunting.
2. Kentucky domain case
The list of sites targeted was "developed by attorneys (conducting the investigation) and are sites where people from Kentucky, using Kentucky addresses, were able to place bets," Casino City was told by Jennifer Brislin, communications director for the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the government. The targeted domains are held by a mix of domestic and international registrars, Brislin added.
In December, lawyers representing online gambling interests told the Kentucky Court of Appeals that Gov. Steve Beshear's effort to seize domain names is "blatantly unconstitutional" and it appears that there is hope that this decision could turn in favor of online gambling, as the APCW's J. Todd reported in his Dec. 23 edition of Perspective's Weekly.
1. UB/AP cheating scandal
Unfortunately after all of that, this story may still not be over. And longer it lingers the worse it will be for the industry to recover from it.
Casino City's Top-10 online gaming stories from 2008 is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
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