In America, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has stated that it was ‘disappointed’ to learn of the recent settlement agreed between the US Department of Justice and PartyGaming co-founder Anurag Dikshit.
Dikshit created the software platform for the Gibraltar-based online gambling operator in 1997 and remains its largest shareholder with 28 percent. Last week he pled guilty in the Southern District New York to violations of the 1961 Wire Act and agreed to pay $300 million in fines and assist authorities with their ongoing investigations.
“The Poker Players Alliance is disappointed to learn of Anurag Dikshit’s guilty plea to the Department of Justice under the Wire Act,” said Alfonse D’Amato, Chairman for the Washington, DC-based poker advocacy group.
“To be clear, as a private settlement between two parties, this plea does not change existing law in the United States nor does it establish any kind of precedent moving forward.
“Yet we do believe this action further clouds the US regulatory and legal environment as it relates to online poker since the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the highest court to hear such a case, ruled that the Wire Act should only apply to Internet wagers on sporting events or contests.
“Additionally, certain types of online wagering, such as horse betting, are permissible under the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, yet according to the Department of Justice, remain illegal under the Wire Act. This disagreement between Federal law enforcement and lawmakers results in confusion for the millions of Americans who legally play online poker in this country.
“We hope legislators in the upcoming Congress will take note of this disparity and pass legislation that affirms poker’s legal status and responsibly regulates the online poker industry.”