U.S. allows 2 of 3 shuttered poker sites to reopen

By @ibtimes on

U.S. prosecutors agreed on Wednesday to allow two of the three Internet gambling companies named in a $3 billion fraud suit to reopen their websites, partly to let customers withdraw their money.

U.S. authorities seized the companies' domain names on Friday, effectively shutting the sites down, and charged 11 people with tricking regulators and banks into processing illegal gambling proceeds.

Under the agreements announced on Wednesday, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker can reopen their websites so players can withdraw funds from their accounts and to allow people outside the United States to play poker for money. The companies specifically agreed not to allow poker play in the United States for money or anything of value.

The agreements also require the appointment of an independent monitor to ensure that the companies are complying with the agreement.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said the same agreement is available to Absolute Poker, the third company named in last week's indictment.

The charges, which were unsealed on April 15 in federal court in Manhattan, are part of a crackdown on Internet gambling in the United States, where it has been illegal since 2006.

(Reporting by Caroline Humer, editing by Matthew Lewis)

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