The federal judge currently handling the case against those indicted in the Black Friday controversy dismissed several charges against the Full Tilt Poker site filed by 4 top poker professionals to the great disappointment of those poker players waiting to see the people behind FTP get their comeuppance. These 4 poker players, Steve Segal, Robin Hougdahl, Todd Terry and Nick Hammer had all filed charges of a RICO suit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act against the FTP site. They had demanded that the site not only return player funds but also pay damages.
Click Here For Sites Still Accepting USA PlayersHowever, while the judge dismissed player claims against the FTP site, he refused to dismiss charges against John Campos and Chad Elie, 2 officials involved as the payment processors who handled the transactions between FTP, PokerStars and the US players.
John Campos is currently indicted on charges of accepting cash payments for facilitating internet poker transactions between poker players and the top three online poker sites that were shut down on Black Friday. Chad Elie is accused of using deceptive practices to process funds between the indicted poker rooms and players based in the U.S.
The lawyers defending Campos and Elie attempted to use an argument that is at the very root of the debate on the legal status of online poker in the USA to get their clients off the hook but the judge did not buy it. They deployed the argument that Poker was a game of “skill” and not one of “chance” and that therefore the charges against their clients should be dropped.
Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is responsible for deciding the fate of the people behind Full Tilt Poker who were indicted on various charges in the aftermath of Black Friday, made it clear that he was not going to be moved by diversionary tactics.
While rejecting the argument the Judge noted that he was “surprised” by the ploy and flatly refused to allow the dismissal of the charges against the accused. In a memorandum opinion he stated that “Defendants’ argument that poker is not gambling fails, at least at this stage.”
Going by what has transpired in the case till date it is evident that it will be a long drawn out process and that Judge Kaplan will be slowly but carefully weighing the individual merit of every facet of every argument that is presented in his court.