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Poker News | Gambling and the Law

FirePay to Stop Funding Gambling Sites for US customers

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FirePay, one of the leading e-wallet services used to fund poker accounts, announced Tuesday, October 10, that it will no longer allow US customers to use FirePay to fund online gambling accounts as a result of the pending legislation criminalizing such financial transfers.

In a statement emailed to FirePay customers, the company said "* Beginning the day President Bush signs the Act, FirePay will decline any purchase transactions from US FirePay account holders at any gambling merchant site.* Ten days after President Bush signs the Act, FirePay will decline any transfer attempt made by any online gambling merchant to a US FirePay account."

This gives US FirePay customers a 10-day window to withdraw their funds from gambling sites into their FirePay accounts. FirePay is not closing US accounts, only blocking transactions to gambling sites.

"All US FirePay accounts holders will continue to be able to make purchases and receive payments from non-gambling online merchants, as well as "Deposit From" and "Withdraw To" their US bank account." So any money transferred from gambling sites into FirePay accounts prior to the new restrictions is still available to be moved into other bank accounts, and can be used for other purchases.

This does not mean that US customers will not be able to withdraw from gambling sites. FirePay's decision has no effect on the actions of individual poker rooms, nor does it hinder poker players' ability to play online. It only means that they will not be able to withdraw funds into their FirePay accounts, or use their FirePay accounts to deposit into their poker accounts. US players should check with individual sites to determine alternative means of funding/withdrawal.

Neteller, another leading site used to fund poker accounts has already released the statement regarding their plans in response to the new legal realities in the US. They are staying in the US market. Speculation is running high across internet forums and message boards as to the legal responsibility of these non-US companies to restrict such transfers, but FirePay was the first financial institution to respond to the new law by cutting off transfers to and from poker sites.

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