PokerStars founder pleads guilty in illegal gambling case

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PokerStars founder admitted to have operated in the US knowing it was illegal.

PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg pled guilty to an illegal gambling charge over an online gaming business.

US.- Isai Scheinberg, PokerStars founder, pled guilty to his one charge of illegal gambling. The businessman took responsibility for operating the unauthorised iGaming business and faces up to five years in prison.

Scheinberg surrendered to the authorities in January after his arrest in Switzerland in June 2019. The gaming giant founder admitted to having knowingly had PokerStars running as an illegal gambling business in the US, in defiance of local regulations.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Ten years ago, this Office charged 11 defendants who operated, or provided fraudulent payment processing services to, three of the largest online poker companies then operating in the United States – PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker – with operating illegal gambling businesses and other crimes. As Isai Scheinberg’s guilty plea today shows, the passage of time will not undermine this Office’s commitment to holding accountable individuals who violate U.S. law.”

Even as PASPA’s revocation has states looking to legalise online gaming together with sports betting, it wasn’t always like that. Back in 2006, lawmakers passed the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The (then) new legislation flushed iGaming operators out of the country, but few stayed. PokerStars was one of them.

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