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Poker Legislation & PPA Discussion hosted by Rich Muny Discussions of various poker-related laws and steps players can take to push for better laws.

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Old 01-03-2012, 06:05 PM   #1
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Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

There's a few sites that I've been able to play on and cash out even though I'm in the US and it's supposedly "illegal"? What's up with that?
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:07 PM   #2
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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Originally Posted by westy_m View Post
There's a few sites that I've been able to play on and cash out even though I'm in the US and it's supposedly "illegal"? What's up with that?
Have you ever drive above limit or smoke weed?
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:15 PM   #3
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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Have you ever drive above limit or smoke weed?
Thought so.
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:16 PM   #4
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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Have you ever drive above limit or smoke weed?
not really a good analogy, since those are both illegal for the person doing them.. playing poker is legal, it's illegal for the businesses, not for you.
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:20 PM   #5
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

The businesses skirt the US laws in order to make money off of you. There are also many instances of such scofflaws stealing account balances from players in one manner or another, and other such scandals. Not that they all necessarily do it, but you should be aware that you are taking risks with your money and should not keep more money on these sites than you can afford to lose.

You should also join our fight to get licensed and regulated Internet poker in the US, so that we don't suffer from these risks as players.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:57 PM   #6
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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The businesses skirt the US laws in order to make money off of you. ...

.
I thought that assertion died on December 23, 2011.

What is the US/Federal law or laws you are referring to as bring "skirted" ?

It might be "better" to have federal legislation of some sort passed, in whatever year that comes to be, but it does a disservice to pretend that current US laws prohibit online poker at the federal level.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:05 AM   #7
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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I thought that assertion died on December 23, 2011.

What is the US/Federal law or laws you are referring to as bring "skirted" ?

It might be "better" to have federal legislation of some sort passed, in whatever year that comes to be, but it does a disservice to pretend that current US laws prohibit online poker at the federal level.
Sorry - I should have been more specific. I meant laws of various states in the US.
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:10 PM   #8
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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not really a good analogy, since those are both illegal for the person doing them.. playing poker is legal, it's illegal for the businesses, not for you.
Cashing a check under false pretenses is arguably bank fraud and money laundering.

Denying a bank the right to decline a transaction that is potentially illegal falls under that. Lawyers, please correct me if I'm wrong.

That said, the most likely thing a bank would do if you were somehow dumb enough to volunteer information about potentially illegal transactions is to decline the transaction and discontinue doing business with you (close your account and give you the balance of your money back).
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:25 PM   #9
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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not really a good analogy, since those are both illegal for the person doing them.. playing poker is legal, it's illegal for the businesses, not for you.
how does that make any sense?

the UIGEA talks about illegal online gambling. Either poker is illegal or not. The UIGEA does not change that. And the UIGEA does not change whether poker is illegal in the us or not.

I am still wondering if online poker is illegal or not. I'd like to hear a statement of the PPA towards that.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:53 PM   #10
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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how does that make any sense?

the UIGEA talks about illegal online gambling. Either poker is illegal or not. The UIGEA does not change that. And the UIGEA does not change whether poker is illegal in the us or not.

I am still wondering if online poker is illegal or not. I'd like to hear a statement of the PPA towards that.
It's not illegal, it's unlawful.

The best way to look at it is like betting on a golf course, you can't get in trouble for it, but if someone decides to welch you can't take him to court to collect.

You have none of the consumer protection you would have on a lawful (regulated) site.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:56 PM   #11
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

Probably because humans being can't be controlled by retarded laws
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:41 PM   #12
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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Probably because humans being can't be controlled by retarded laws
That premise may be tested by 2013, given the results in Iowa Tuesday.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:08 PM   #13
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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It's not illegal, it's unlawful.

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Old 01-04-2012, 09:41 PM   #14
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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Originally Posted by knircky View Post
how does that make any sense?

the UIGEA talks about illegal online gambling. Either poker is illegal or not. The UIGEA does not change that. And the UIGEA does not change whether poker is illegal in the us or not.

I am still wondering if online poker is illegal or not. I'd like to hear a statement of the PPA towards that.
It depends on what state you live in.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:07 PM   #15
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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how does that make any sense?

the UIGEA talks about illegal online gambling. Either poker is illegal or not. The UIGEA does not change that. And the UIGEA does not change whether poker is illegal in the us or not.

I am still wondering if online poker is illegal or not. I'd like to hear a statement of the PPA towards that.
It does not have to make much sense to be valid law according to the law. A full discussion can begin with a google search with the phrase "substantive due process."

It is the way the law is written not only at the Federal Level, but also by a number of states (Kentucky and New York, for example) - to commit an offense for which you can be punished according to these criminal laws the defendant must have done something to establish that he or she is more than a mere player in the illegal game.

This is accomplished by passing a criminal law that subjects an operator of an illegal gambling game to punishment but passing no law that does the same for a participant non-operator.

This has the beneficial effect of making home games with no operator not subject to prosecution - there is no one to arrest in such a situation.

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Old 01-05-2012, 12:03 AM   #16
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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It's not illegal, it's unlawful.

The best way to look at it is like betting on a golf course, you can't get in trouble for it, but if someone decides to welch you can't take him to court to collect.

You have none of the consumer protection you would have on a lawful (regulated) site.
The two terms are synonyms for all practical purposes. Stop it, you're going to confuse people.




And to the original poster, many states do have gambling laws that do effectively only make the offering of the gambling games by an operator illegal and do not make the mere playing of the gambling games by a mere player illegal.

State laws vary from state to state of course.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:01 AM   #17
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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The two terms are synonyms for all practical purposes. Stop it, you're going to confuse people.

Not at at all, gambling debts are unlawful debt, contracts with no legal authority, if you report your golf partner for welching, they laugh at you.

Report someone welching on an illegal debt, they didn't pay for the cocaine you sold the for example, and they may escort you to jail.

Two words with similar connotation but strikingly different outcomes.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:20 AM   #18
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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Not at at all, gambling debts are unlawful debt, contracts with no legal authority, if you report your golf partner for welching, they laugh at you.

Report someone welching on an illegal debt, they didn't pay for the cocaine you sold the for example, and they may escort you to jail.

Two words with similar connotation but strikingly different outcomes.
You still haven't cited a single statute, federal or state, which makes this distinction. Can't, can you?

You may make this distinction in your own usage of the words, but it doesn't exist in law. AFAIK, wherever the term "unlawful" is used in law statutes, it is also accompanied by a provision that makes everything under topic illegal unless excepted, which by definition makes unlawful and illegal synonymous in the law. There is no distinction between the words in law application.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:00 AM   #19
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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Originally Posted by PokerXanadu View Post
You still haven't cited a single statute, federal or state, which makes this distinction. Can't, can you?

You may make this distinction in your own usage of the words, but it doesn't exist in law. AFAIK, wherever the term "unlawful" is used in law statutes, it is also accompanied by a provision that makes everything under topic illegal unless excepted, which by definition makes unlawful and illegal synonymous in the law. There is no distinction between the words in law application.
I cited it, and it was specifically defined for non lawyers, in the Oregon gambling statutes you links me to yesterday. Unlawful - not specifically authorized by law.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:17 AM   #20
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

Unlawful - not specifically authorized by law.

that is meaningless, since almost everything would be unlawful then.. am i authorized by law to buy groceries.. etc ad nauseum, our system is set up totally opposite of that... please don't muck up another thread with 50 posts on unlawful vs illegal.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:46 AM   #21
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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Unlawful - not specifically authorized by law.

that is meaningless, since almost everything would be unlawful then.. am i authorized by law to buy groceries.. etc ad nauseum, our system is set up totally opposite of that... please don't muck up another thread with 50 posts on unlawful vs illegal.
+1 fortunately, most everything we do in life is unlawful, we don't need government authorization, one of the greatest joys in life is unlawful carnal knowledge.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:04 AM   #22
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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I cited it, and it was specifically defined for non lawyers, in the Oregon gambling statutes you links me to yesterday. Unlawful - not specifically authorized by law.
But the same statutes use that definition to make unlawful gambling punishable as a crime. So under Oregon law, "unlawful gambling" = "illegal gambling". You won't find laws that specify something is unlawful but not illegal.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:29 AM   #23
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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Not at at all, gambling debts are unlawful debt, contracts with no legal authority, if you report your golf partner for welching, they laugh at you.

Report someone welching on an illegal debt, they didn't pay for the cocaine you sold the for example, and they may escort you to jail.

Two words with similar connotation but strikingly different outcomes.

Contracts are a slightly different context as I said in the other thread and the semantical difference may be more distinct in that area. However, what is generally discussed here is not contracts.


Also I wouldn't even necessarily say you are right. If gambling is illegal then entering into a contract to gamble upon something is an illegal contract because the purpose of the contract is to achieve an illegal end. Therefore, the contract is not enforceable.

Simple wikipedia link (which includes citations to cases):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal_agreement




The below is from here: http://contracts.lawyers.com/contrac...Contracts.html


Quote:
Illegal Contracts
Claiming a contract is illegal is one of several defenses to a broken contract. This usually come up in situations just like the Fusari-Lady Gaga case: One side or "party" wants the other side to honor the agreement, but the other side doesn't want to or doesn't feel it should be honored.

Although there are many ways a contract may be "illegal," the defense usually involves a claim that the contract was made for an unlawful purpose. In many cases, it's claimed the contract violates a specific law or statute. For example:

If gambling is illegal in your state, a court won't enforce a contract or "IOU" someone gave you for a gambling debt An employment contract with a minor may violate state or federal child labor laws that don't allow minors to work

And googling "illegal contracts" and "unlawful contracts" bring up several of the same links. And many places appear to use illegal and unlawful as synonyms in this context as well.



And if they escort you to jail in your second example it would be for selling cocaine. It wouldn't have anything to do with the contract you made .... unless maybe there are multiple people involved and they can throw in consiparacy charges or soemthing else like that.




We should really knock off this silly discussion.

Last edited by Lego05; 01-05-2012 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:31 AM   #24
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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I cited it, and it was specifically defined for non lawyers, in the Oregon gambling statutes you links me to yesterday. Unlawful - not specifically authorized by law.
Statutes can define words however they want. A statute can define green as red. The definition wouldn't apply outside of the said statute.

This is why it is always very important to read the definitions section when you are looking at statutes.



Furthermore, the statute defines "unlawful" that way, but just defining unlawful as that does not make anything not specifically authorized by statute illegal. the statute still has to say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregon Statute
167.109 Internet gambling.

(1) A person engaged in an Internet gambling business may not knowingly accept, in connection with the participation of another person in unlawful gambling using the Internet:

(a) Credit, or the proceeds of credit, extended to or on behalf of such other person, including credit extended through the use of a credit card;

(b) An electronic funds transfer or funds transmitted by or through a money transmission business, or the proceeds of an electronic funds transfer or money transmission service, from or on behalf of the other person;

(c) Any check, draft or similar instrument that is drawn by or on behalf of the other person and is drawn on or payable at or through any financial institution; or

(d) The proceeds of any other form of financial transaction that involves a financial institution as a payor or financial intermediary on behalf of or for the benefit of the other person.

(2) Violation of subsection (1) of this section is a Class C felony.

So the statute defines unlawful as anything not specifically authorized by law and then it says that an internet gambling business may accepting money, etc. etc. in connection with the participation of another person in unlawful gambling using the Internet.


So it defines what unlawful means and then specifically states that unlawful gambling is illegal.

If all it did was say that unlawful means not specifically authorized by law, then nothing would happen. It then has to also say that unlawful something (in this case gambling) is illegal.



BTW the statute also has a specific definition for gambling:

Quote:
(7) "Gambling" means that a person stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under the control or influence of the person, upon an agreement or understanding that the person or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. "Gambling" does not include

(a) Bona fide business transactions valid under the law of contracts for the purchase or sale at a future date of securities or commodities, and agreements to compensate for loss caused by the happening of chance, including but not limited to contracts of indemnity or guaranty and life, health or accident insurance.

(b) Engaging in contests of chance under the following conditions:

(A) The contest is played for some token other than money;

(B) An individual contestant may not purchase more than $100 worth of tokens for use in the contest during any 24-hour period;

(C) The tokens may be exchanged only for property other than money;

(D) Except when the tokens are exchanged for a beverage or merchandise to be consumed on the premises, the tokens are not redeemable on the premises where the contest is conducted or within 50 miles thereof; and

(E) Except for charitable, fraternal or religious organizations, no person who conducts the contest as owner, agent or employee profits in any manner from operation of the contest.

(c) Social games.

(d) Bingo, lotto or raffle games or Monte Carlo events operated in compliance with ORS 167.118, by a charitable, fraternal or religious organization licensed pursuant to ORS 167.118, 464.250 to 464.380 and 464.420 to 464.530 to operate such games


Last edited by Lego05; 01-05-2012 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:39 AM   #25
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Re: Why can I still play and cash out if US online poker is illegal?

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Originally Posted by PokerXanadu View Post
But the same statutes use that definition to make unlawful gambling punishable as a crime. So under Oregon law, "unlawful gambling" = "illegal gambling". You won't find laws that specify something is unlawful but not illegal.
That's usually what statutes tend to do, but if they used the "synonym" illegal gambling, they would be referring to gambling businesses that already violate a law, and would make them in violation of the internet statute. If it was already illegal, the statute would be redundant unless you were writing the statute for the purpose of giving a stiffer punishment to illegal gambling businesses who also take transactions on the internet.

The UIGEA on the other hand doesn't make unlawful (not specifically authorized by law) gambling business illegal (even though they might be in some states), it makes them susceptible to having their financial transactions blocked\seized.

By not calling it the IIGEA, poker doesn't have to be illegal in your state for transactions to be blocked, as long as poker is considered gambling in your state, the site simply not being licensed by your state is sufficient.
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