AGA Speaks Out On Full Tilt Revelations

This story was published more than 12 years ago.

The Head of the American Gaming Association has spoken out for the second time in two days, calling for the legalization and regulation of online poker in the United States following the U.S. Department of Justice's amended complaint against Full Tilt Poker.

The amended complaint by the DOJ alleges Full Tilt Poker of operating as a "global ponzi scheme" by taking funds that were owed to players and moving them to pay off company owners and board members.

A press release by AGA President and CEO Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr. said: “I have two simple questions: ‘How much and for how long?’ How much money that we don’t know about is being swindled from U.S. consumers and how long will it take before we change laws to protect those consumers?

“This morning (Tuesday) we called on Congress to institute an effective online poker regulatory system to protect American consumers and released an online poker Code of Conduct that would ensure online poker companies are operated honestly, legally and responsibly.

“This afternoon (Tuesday) the Department of Justice (DOJ) accused one of the most well-known offshore online operators, Full Tilt Poker, of bilking players out of more than $300 million. The U.S. attorney who made the accusation called Full Tilt Poker, ‘…not a legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme.’

“Tomorrow Congress should begin changing the laws to protect consumers from such schemes.

“We applaud the DOJ for this latest action, but every time a shady website is shut down, an even shadier one pops up.

"The type of illegal activity the DOJ is accusing Full Tilt Poker of will continue to happen in the absence of the same tough, stringent regulations and enforcement that successfully govern bricks-and-mortar casinos.

"The time to act is now, or millions of Americans playing online will continue to face a risky environment.

"Congress needs to establish federal guidelines so that states that choose to can regulate and license online poker, and bring the jobs and revenues associated with this billion dollar industry to the U.S.”