Tuesday brought news that many in the online poker world were anticipating when it was announced that PartyGaming PLC, the company that has been at the forefront of providing poker and casino services to Internet players, has entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
The agreement comes after approximately ten months of discussions between the two organizations about PartyGaming’s operations in the United States prior to the enactment of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA). As part of the agreement, PartyGaming has accepted from the USAO the punishment of a $105 million fine that will be payed off in semi-annual payments until September 2012. PartyGaming, in a “Statement of Facts” document, has agreed that they violated the law.
As a part of the non-prosecution agreement, PartyGaming has admitted to offering Internet gaming to players located in the U. S., including online poker for real money and casino gaming, from 1997 until October 13th, 2006, which was the day the UIGEA was signed into law. The company also is conceding that transactions from customers in America intended for PartyGaming were processed by third parties and other gaming and payment-related companies, which is contrary to current U. S. laws.
PartyGaming CEO Jim Ryan heralded the settlement when he commented to the web site Gaming Intelligence Group, “The resolution of our position with the U. S. authorities marks an important day for PartyGaming. It has been a long and complex process but we have reached an amicable solution with the USAO that makes commercial sense for our business and is in the best interests of shareholders. We are now well-placed to seize organic as well as strategic opportunities that previously were beyond our reach.”
This marks the close of PartyGaming’s disputes with the U. S. government regarding its operations inside America. Back in mid-December, former PartyGaming founder Anurag Dikshit pled guilty to violating the Wire Act of 1961 in the Southern District Court of New York. The judge in that case, Jed Rakoff, did not immediately sentence Dikshit to jail time, which could have put the founder of PartyGaming in jail for up to two years. Instead, Rakoff scheduled sentencing for December 2010 with the posting of a $50 million bond from Dikshit and his continued cooperation in any online gaming investigations by the American government. It was also agreed that Dikshit would pay off the $300 million in three installments to the United States government within months of the plea deal.

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