Gambling

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Anonymous User
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Gambling

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:12 am

Over the past few years I've done a fair amount of online gambling. Nothing too big, and certainly nothing that has ever gone beyond the "play money" type thing. However, when I was discussing it with a friend recently, he mentioned that it was illegal and that it could present an issue for the Bar. It really wasn't something I'd ever thought of before. I'd just figured that if it were so readily available, it wasn't an issue. Now, I worry.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Of course, I plan to stop, but I don't know if it's too late or if it would even come up. I know ignorance isn't an excuse, so I'm not trying to play it that way. I just want to know what to expect.

Also, after looking, poker and the such seems to be at least arguably on the up and up, but sports betting is questionable at best, and illegal in all likelihood.

Nicholas Nickleby
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:28 am

Re: Gambling

Postby Nicholas Nickleby » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:27 am

I speed on a regular basis, but I don't think it's going to pose a problem as far as the Bar is concerned.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Gambling

Postby Lawquacious » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:23 am

If you are sure it is illegal, then I think stopping doing it is a good idea (maybe just go to casinos instead, or play online games without money). I don't think the Bar C and F sections generally ask "Have you ever committed any crime... done anything illegal etc.." Instead, I think it will prob be more like most law school apps that only ask if you have been charged or convicted (or had disciplinary action etc). But there are some nasty (IMO) catch-all questions out there on a couple law school apps I saw, so I suppose you could get asked something that is a catch-all on a bar application. Even if you felt the need to answer 'yes' for a question related to this, I don't see there being a real problem with you passing C and F due to it (unless in the future you do actually have legal or major financial consequences that result). You can look at state bar apps online (not sure if every state posts them) to get an idea of the specific questions you may face. I think there is also an oral-type C and F component in some states, but not sure if everyone has to do that. I think your prob totally fine though, and have nothing to worry based on what you said. Obviously this isn't any sort of official, authoritative, or legal advice though.

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buckilaw
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Re: Gambling

Postby buckilaw » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:Over the past few years I've done a fair amount of online gambling. Nothing too big, and certainly nothing that has ever gone beyond the "play money" type thing. However, when I was discussing it with a friend recently, he mentioned that it was illegal and that it could present an issue for the Bar. It really wasn't something I'd ever thought of before. I'd just figured that if it were so readily available, it wasn't an issue. Now, I worry.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Of course, I plan to stop, but I don't know if it's too late or if it would even come up. I know ignorance isn't an excuse, so I'm not trying to play it that way. I just want to know what to expect.

Also, after looking, poker and the such seems to be at least arguably on the up and up, but sports betting is questionable at best, and illegal in all likelihood.


If you have never played with real money then you have never actually gambled. No need to worry. Even if you did play with real money I wouldn't worry too much, if at all.

Anonymous User
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Re: Gambling

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:24 am

With the exception of a few States that have expressly made PLAYING an illegal act, the only thing that runs afoul of the UIGEA (the federal law most people hear of related to online poker) is the act of FUNDING the account. And, then there are the issues related to payment processors that are being shut down and people reporting problems with cashing the checks from the sites when the player attempts to cash out...

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traehekat
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Re: Gambling

Postby traehekat » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:Nothing too big, and certainly nothing that has ever gone beyond the "play money" type thing.


Bro... c'mon now.

Sup Kid
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: Gambling

Postby Sup Kid » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:34 am

There are two statutes which presently form the foundation of law relating to online poker: the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

The Interstate Wire Act states in relevant part, “whoever being engaged in the business of betting or wagering knowingly uses a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest...” While it is largely agreed that the act, though enacted well before any thought of the internet in the modern sense, does apply to internet transmissions as well as telephone transitions , there is a strong disagreement between the executive branch and the judiciary as to the type of gambling that the act prohibits.

The Department of Justice takes the view that the act prohibits all forms of online gambling, including games of skill like poker, games of chance like roulette, and all sports betting. Specifically, the department has said that “all forms of Internet gambling, including sports wagering, casino games and card games, are illegal.” This was further emphasized in a 2002 letter from Michael Chertoff, Assistant U.S. Attorney General to Dennis Neilander, Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, that stated, “[t]he Department of Justice believes that federal law prohibits gambling over the Internet, including casino-style gambling... [a]dditionally, it is the department's view that the gambling activity occurs both in the jurisdiction where the bettor is located and the state or foreign country where the gambling business is located.”

Significantly however, while the Department of Justice has stated this, it has never brought a lawsuit against any individual for internet gambling, and has in fact only rarely done anything to limit the ability of online poker operators to maintain their company’s websites. In order to limit the amount of advertising money these sites were able to receive, in 2003, “the DOJ issued letters to the National Association of Broadcasters and other media groups advising that providing advertising...may be considered aiding or abetting illegal gambling operations.” More recently, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (one of the more influential districts in the country, as it includes Manhattan) seized $30 million of internet gambling payments held in U.S. banks scheduled to be dispersed to U.S. players. The Justice Department claimed that the frozen funds were considered “property involved in money laundering transactions and illegal gambling offenses" and that the banks should “treat the funds as legally seized by the FBI...[as] the government has probable cause that the gambling payments of U.S. residents had been directed to offshore illegal Internet gambling businesses.” However, neither the Justice Department nor the U.S. Attorney ever received a warrant to seize these funds, and they have made no statements since the seizure stating what their justification was or from where they received the authority to do such an action.

Conversely, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit has recently upheld a lower court’s determination that “[A] plain reading of the statutory language [of the Wire Act] clearly requires that the object of the gambling be a sporting event or contest” and as such games such as poker would not fall under the purview of that law. Here, the 5th Circuit clearly viewed the word “sporting” as a description for “event or contest” and therefore determined that non-sports gambling was not covered by the act. This interpretation can be supported by a number of reasons. First, other statutes passed with the act in 1961, such as the Interstate Transportation of Wagering Paraphernalia Act and the Illegal Gambling Business, Act clearly spell out what gambling activities are prohibited, including slot machines, roulette wheels or dice tables. Because the Wire Act only refers to sporting events or contests, it seems apparent that Congress intentionally meant for the act to only cover sports, not all gambling. Second, the working name of the legislation was actually “Sporting Events – Transmission of Bets, Wagers, and Related Information.” As Jeffrey Rodefer stated in an article for the Gaming Law Review, “Congress' use of these different terms reflect its knowledge of the various forms of gambling, including traditional casino games or games of chance and specifically limited the Wire Act's application to sporting events or related contests.” Additionally, the Department of Justice has made one statement which implied that the 5th Circuit’s position may be accurate when it wrote in a 1999 letter to Senator Patrick Leahy that stated, “[w]e do recognize, however, that the Internet has allowed for new types of electronic gambling, including interactive games such as poker and blackjack, that may not clearly be included within the types of gambling currently made illegal by [the Wire Act].”

In addition to the Interstate Wire Act, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (better known as UIGEA) also addresses the legality of online gambling. In short, the UIGEA has made it unlawful for any U.S. banking institution to process financial transactions with an online gaming company. First, the UIGEA makes it illegal for any person or enterprises in the business of Internet gambling to accept money transfers for the purpose of "unlawful Internet gambling”. This basically allows the Department of Justice to have greater access to seize money and indict companies that are related to internet gambling. Second, it forces U.S. banks to adopt a number of new guidelines, including: adopt a UIGEA compliance policy, develop a due diligence process at account opening to determine whether a commercial customer presents anything more than a minimal risk of engaging in Internet gambling, and develop procedures (by payment system) for responding when your bank becomes aware of restricted transactions.

Noticeably, this law only prohibits money transfers in furtherance of “unlawful Internet gambling.” As discussed above, there is no federal law that explicitly makes internet gambling illegal, and there is only one state (Washington State) that does so ; the only law that could possibly apply is the Wire Act, which has already been shown to be ambiguous, at best.

Ultimately, there is a valid question of whether online poker is legal or illegal, though it is clear that online sports betting is illegal. Make your own decision knowing all the facts. HTH.

Anonymous User
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Re: Gambling

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:44 pm

OP. By "play money" I meant nothing outside a typical entertainment budget. I understand the terminology was confusing.

I've since done the research and read about the legal issues and understand the difference between poker and sports betting. My question isn't if it is a good idea (which I've determined it isn't), it has more to do with if anyone knows how the bar functions in relation to these things. I mean, if they find out I've taken part in this kind of behavior in the past, how big a deal do you think it will be? I can't find any information for this aspect online.

I've heard the bar does a pretty extensive background check, including searching through financials and asking about "popular" illegal activities (drug use, gambling, etc.) as well as issues which might not be illegal, but are considered in bad taste (poorly utilizing your resources, affairs, being associated with those who are known to have participated in criminal activity).

My plan is to quit, and just let them know I was unaware the activity was illegal. When I became aware I halted participation. Is that likely to be enough?

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Gambling

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:07 pm

I don't understand I have done numerous highly illegal things in my past but have never been caught? How would they affect me passing the bar?

lock1
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:55 am

Re: Gambling

Postby lock1 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:08 am

there is no problem if you done gambling in past.it will not affect now coz there is no evidence to prove it and without any evidence it is not possible for anyone to catch you...

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Grizz
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Re: Gambling

Postby Grizz » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:30 am

Sup Kid wrote:There are two statutes which presently form the foundation of law relating to online poker: the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

The Interstate Wire Act states in relevant part, “whoever being engaged in the business of betting or wagering knowingly uses a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest...” While it is largely agreed that the act, though enacted well before any thought of the internet in the modern sense, does apply to internet transmissions as well as telephone transitions , there is a strong disagreement between the executive branch and the judiciary as to the type of gambling that the act prohibits.

The Department of Justice takes the view that the act prohibits all forms of online gambling, including games of skill like poker, games of chance like roulette, and all sports betting. Specifically, the department has said that “all forms of Internet gambling, including sports wagering, casino games and card games, are illegal.” This was further emphasized in a 2002 letter from Michael Chertoff, Assistant U.S. Attorney General to Dennis Neilander, Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, that stated, “[t]he Department of Justice believes that federal law prohibits gambling over the Internet, including casino-style gambling... [a]dditionally, it is the department's view that the gambling activity occurs both in the jurisdiction where the bettor is located and the state or foreign country where the gambling business is located.”

Significantly however, while the Department of Justice has stated this, it has never brought a lawsuit against any individual for internet gambling, and has in fact only rarely done anything to limit the ability of online poker operators to maintain their company’s websites. In order to limit the amount of advertising money these sites were able to receive, in 2003, “the DOJ issued letters to the National Association of Broadcasters and other media groups advising that providing advertising...may be considered aiding or abetting illegal gambling operations.” More recently, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (one of the more influential districts in the country, as it includes Manhattan) seized $30 million of internet gambling payments held in U.S. banks scheduled to be dispersed to U.S. players. The Justice Department claimed that the frozen funds were considered “property involved in money laundering transactions and illegal gambling offenses" and that the banks should “treat the funds as legally seized by the FBI...[as] the government has probable cause that the gambling payments of U.S. residents had been directed to offshore illegal Internet gambling businesses.” However, neither the Justice Department nor the U.S. Attorney ever received a warrant to seize these funds, and they have made no statements since the seizure stating what their justification was or from where they received the authority to do such an action.

Conversely, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit has recently upheld a lower court’s determination that “[A] plain reading of the statutory language [of the Wire Act] clearly requires that the object of the gambling be a sporting event or contest” and as such games such as poker would not fall under the purview of that law. Here, the 5th Circuit clearly viewed the word “sporting” as a description for “event or contest” and therefore determined that non-sports gambling was not covered by the act. This interpretation can be supported by a number of reasons. First, other statutes passed with the act in 1961, such as the Interstate Transportation of Wagering Paraphernalia Act and the Illegal Gambling Business, Act clearly spell out what gambling activities are prohibited, including slot machines, roulette wheels or dice tables. Because the Wire Act only refers to sporting events or contests, it seems apparent that Congress intentionally meant for the act to only cover sports, not all gambling. Second, the working name of the legislation was actually “Sporting Events – Transmission of Bets, Wagers, and Related Information.” As Jeffrey Rodefer stated in an article for the Gaming Law Review, “Congress' use of these different terms reflect its knowledge of the various forms of gambling, including traditional casino games or games of chance and specifically limited the Wire Act's application to sporting events or related contests.” Additionally, the Department of Justice has made one statement which implied that the 5th Circuit’s position may be accurate when it wrote in a 1999 letter to Senator Patrick Leahy that stated, “[w]e do recognize, however, that the Internet has allowed for new types of electronic gambling, including interactive games such as poker and blackjack, that may not clearly be included within the types of gambling currently made illegal by [the Wire Act].”

In addition to the Interstate Wire Act, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (better known as UIGEA) also addresses the legality of online gambling. In short, the UIGEA has made it unlawful for any U.S. banking institution to process financial transactions with an online gaming company. First, the UIGEA makes it illegal for any person or enterprises in the business of Internet gambling to accept money transfers for the purpose of "unlawful Internet gambling”. This basically allows the Department of Justice to have greater access to seize money and indict companies that are related to internet gambling. Second, it forces U.S. banks to adopt a number of new guidelines, including: adopt a UIGEA compliance policy, develop a due diligence process at account opening to determine whether a commercial customer presents anything more than a minimal risk of engaging in Internet gambling, and develop procedures (by payment system) for responding when your bank becomes aware of restricted transactions.

Noticeably, this law only prohibits money transfers in furtherance of “unlawful Internet gambling.” As discussed above, there is no federal law that explicitly makes internet gambling illegal, and there is only one state (Washington State) that does so ; the only law that could possibly apply is the Wire Act, which has already been shown to be ambiguous, at best.

Ultimately, there is a valid question of whether online poker is legal or illegal, though it is clear that online sports betting is illegal. Make your own decision knowing all the facts. HTH.


QFpracticingwithoutalicense

Kaves
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:54 am

Re: Gambling

Postby Kaves » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:59 am

I think there are a fair number of people on this forum who have made money playing different games online, myself included. I also dont think anyone is worried about the bar C&F.

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MrKappus
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Re: Gambling

Postby MrKappus » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:20 am

rad law wrote:QFpracticingwithoutalicense


QFnotknowwhatpracticeoflawis.

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powerlawyer06
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Re: Gambling

Postby powerlawyer06 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:21 am

I posted this in another thread so I will post it is here. Online gambling is sort of “gray” area right now but it is definitely illegal in the state of Washington.

The SAFE Port Act definitely outlawed the transmission of money for online gambling.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAFE_Port_Act

The SDNY federal attorney’s office has seized money from companies holding accounts for individual gamblers using the SAFE Port Act.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=7808131

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124459561862800591.html

I think it is hard to determine if individuals playing online poker are guilty of a crime absent further legislation in the area. It would be a shame to be named in a lawsuit some rogue federal prosecutor brings to try and test the limits of the SAFE Port Act.
I have no idea if this would affect your C & F but why take the risk?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Gambling

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:38 am

Interesting post. One significant difference between online gambling & speeding is that there is a traceable record of the former & no record of the latter unless ticketed. This may lead to issues of honesty since recorded evidence of gambling exists if one denies participation in this activity on bar applications. Therefore, the cover-up may be more harmful to a bar applicant than the "prohibited" activity.

Anonymous User
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Re: Gambling

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:56 pm

All of the online gambling firms are offshore - how is the federal government going to obtain record of you gambling? I doubt they would just hand them over because that would ruin their reputation. Does the bar look at every bank transfer on your account? Im just curious as to how it would come up.

seatown12
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Re: Gambling

Postby seatown12 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:58 pm


Sup Kid
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: Gambling

Postby Sup Kid » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:59 pm


Yet on the other hand, DC just passed a law legalizing online gambling: http://www.newsfactor.com/news/Net-Gamb ... ull_skip=1

Master Tofu
Posts: 235
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2006 11:43 pm

Re: Gambling

Postby Master Tofu » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:17 pm

* Elsewhere in Yale Law School news, congrats to YLS student Vanessa Selbst, who successfully defended her title at the North American Poker Tour championship at Mohegan Sun. How much did she win this year? [Law Shucks]

- abovethelaw.

witorres89
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:34 am

Re: Gambling

Postby witorres89 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:45 pm

i might be a little worried now

Anonymous Loser
Posts: 568
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:17 am

Re: Gambling

Postby Anonymous Loser » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:44 am

Master Tofu wrote:
* Elsewhere in Yale Law School news, congrats to YLS student Vanessa Selbst, who successfully defended her title at the North American Poker Tour championship at Mohegan Sun. How much did she win this year? [Law Shucks]

- abovethelaw.


What does this have to do with the OP's question?

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ResolutePear
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Re: Gambling

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:49 am

Anonymous Loser wrote:
Master Tofu wrote:
* Elsewhere in Yale Law School news, congrats to YLS student Vanessa Selbst, who successfully defended her title at the North American Poker Tour championship at Mohegan Sun. How much did she win this year? [Law Shucks]

- abovethelaw.


What does this have to do with the OP's question?


Does it have Law? Check.

Does it have gambling? Check.

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gwuorbust
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Re: Gambling

Postby gwuorbust » Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:30 pm

witorres89 wrote:i might be a little worried now


yes, because the US Attorney's are going to start prosecuting all 10 million Americans that have ever gambled online. just like ICE is going to deport all 12 million people living here illegally, ergh.

oh wait.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Gambling

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:33 pm

gwuorbust wrote:
witorres89 wrote:i might be a little worried now


yes, because the US Attorney's are going to start prosecuting all 10 million Americans that have ever gambled online. just like ICE is going to deport all 12 million people living here illegally, ergh.

oh wait.


Well, the ICE *is* run by this guy:

--ImageRemoved--

fletchcon
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:13 am

Re: Gambling

Postby fletchcon » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:51 pm

What about someone who works for one of the poker companies recently indicted?
Could this be an issue when it comes to the character and fitness evaluation?




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