Online poker — always present, always traumatized by the fire and branding irons that seek out and continue to try and destroy it and mark it is a tainted, evil beat — is right back in the headlines. And this time it's in the state of Nevada.
Back in February Bryan Micon went to YouTube (from a location in Antigua) to tell the tale of a raid on his Nevada home on February 11th where he says he was handcuffed and led out of his house in his underwear, his home was searched, and most of his electronics were stolen because he is the chairman of the Bitcoin poker site SealsWithClubs.eu.
At that time the police raid brought about the closure of the bitcoin-only poker site.
Moving forward: The Las Vegas Reveiw-Journal (LVRJ)reports that the latest news is that Nevada State Attorney General Adam Laxalt announced that Bryan Micon will be prosecuted for running an illegal online poker room.
The charges against Micon — according to court papers filed on Monday — are that Seals with Clubs operated "without first procuring and thereafter maintaining in effect the required licenses."
Micon is possibly looking at a $50,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison if he is found guilty and he has retained the services of a law firm whose name has been heard more than once in gambling related issues with the courts — Chesnoff & Schonfeld. Micon's attorney, Richard Schonfeld, gave the following statement to the LVRJ: “Bryan has always maintained that he committed no wrongdoing, but I’m not in a position to comment on the Attorney General’s filing because I haven’t seen it.”
On Tuesday Laxalt spoke at a press conference and said this particular case against Seals with Clubs was the first of its kind in Nevada. VegasINC was in attendance and reported that it is the Attorney General office's intention to contrast the offering of gaming services in Nevada with illegal versus legal.
"Operating or otherwise conducting gaming in this state without a license is illegal, and the Attorney General's Office will aggressively pursue individuals and companies who aim to evade our laws for illicit profit," Laxalt explained. "During my time as A.G., illegal gaming operations will be pursued with every available and appropriate legal remedy."
After the initial raid in February, Micon spoke to PokerNews.com and explained that the accusations against him included the violation of the Nevada Revised Statutes NRS 463.750(10b), and the operation of an interactive gaming site without all appropriate licenses as required by State law NRS 463.160(1a).
Then on March 1st Micon launched an updated version of the software on swcpoker.eu. Micon's former partners terminated their association with Seals With Clubs which sent Micon on the journey to continue the bitcoin-poker site.
"I am not mad at them," Micon continued with PokerNews.com just before the launch of the 2.0 version of the software. "Everybody assesses risks differently and they are willing to do different things. Perhaps, I am the one who is willing to give up the most right now, and that's why I will continue to work on Seals With Clubs."
"There are only very few things in this world that motivate me, and these are Golden Tee, poker, my wife, my daughter, and Bitcoin," Micon went on to explain. "If you realize this, you can see why I don't even need to make a choice here."
Micon went to the Internet to ask for support to fight the charges against him by the state of Nevada using GoFundMe.com.
Micon's page at that address on GoFundMe.com states:
"Most of you have seen recent events surrounding SealsWithClubs and my family. Today I was charged by the Nevada Attorney General with one count of operating an unlicensed interactive gaming system.
"I maintain that I have committed no wrongdoing and have retained the legal services of Chesnoff & Schonfeld, whom I believe are the best lawyers for my case. The price for representation will quickly deplete my funds, and I am asking for donations from anyone who feels like helping me.
"As a husband, father of a 2 year old girl, & outspoken Bitcoin advocate, I desire nothing more than to continue to be with my wife, raise my daughter, and continue to build layers on top of the Bitcoin protocol. The state of Nevada desires to take that away from me. Please help me fight."
NOTE: If you have funds on SealsWithClubs.eu, you have only five days left to check your balance and cash out any amounts in your account. Visiting the site will give you the following update:
"All activity on the sealswithclubs.eu domain will cease on May 5th, 2015. After this date it will not be possible to retrieve your balances, connect an email address to an account, or reset your password. Please request your cashouts immediately and pass along this notice to others if you know any former players."
Also included in the update is news that "there will no longer be any support for, or activity on, the sealswithclubs.eu domain," once the cash-out system is closed.
Image courtesy of PokerNews.com.