Raymond Bitar, the Director of Pocket Kings based in Ireland and the chief executive of Full Tilt Poker has been charged with violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which was incorporated into the US law in 2006. The UIGEA does not allow online money transfers from financial institutions in the US to online gambling sites.
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Ironically, Pocket Kings has 700 people on the payroll at the Cherrywood Science and Technology Park. It was established there in 2006 and functioned to provide technical support in IT, fraud detection, marketing services as well as customer services to Full Tilt Poker. Today, Raymond Bitar, the owner of Full Tilt Poker and Director of Pocket Kings is now facing charges of fraud and money laundering. Although Full Tilt Poker holds a license in Alderney, Channel Islands, it is still considered to be a US poker site since it offered online poker to US players.
Details regarding the indictment state that these three online poker sites providing online poker services to US players devised different ways to avoid the UIGEA and to receive money from US residents who gambled. Mr. Raymond Bitar has been accused of deceiving and leading others to mislead US financial institutions into processing transactions for Full Tilt Poker by making them seem like transactions for make-believe online retail merchants.
Full Tilt Poker was the second largest operator of poker games in the US and the Department of Justice seeks the forfeiture of online poker accounts currently housed in non-US banks. These include the Bank of Ireland, Bank of Scotland (Ireland), Anglo Irish Bank, Irish Permanent Treasury and National Irish Bank. The accounts belong to Mr. Raymond Bitar, Pocket Kings and Pocket Consulting.
Full Tilt Poker has argued that poker is a game of skill and that many “legal minds in the US” also believe so. Mr. Raymond Bitar stated that he is disappointed with the charges against him and Mr. Nelson Burtnick and is looking forward to be released.
Several attempts made to get a statement from a Full Tilt Poker spokesperson as well as Pocket Kings spokesperson did not yield any results. They were not available and when reached had no comments regarding the matter.
Money laundering, bank fraud and violation of laws are serious accusations and it is clear that these companies will go through a tough time in the near future.

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