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Poker News: May 5th, 2011

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HEADLINE: Costa Rican Police Pours the Heat on Absolute and UB Poker

The USA has influenced many jurisdictions with its prohibition on online gambling throughout the years. The dispute with the World Trade Organization and Antigua and Barbuda being one problem that does not seem to be going away. Now the authorities in Costa Rica are pulling out all the stops by raiding the offices of Absolute Poker and PokerStars in an attempt to gather evidence regarding alleged wrong doing by those companies, as a reaction to the indictments put forth by the US Department of Justice.

Agents with the Organismo Investigacion Judicial (OIJ), proceeding with search warrants, broke down the doors at least six separate locations including residential homes and offices of persons associated with the online poker operations.  
 According to reports from Poker Players newspaper the police in Costa Rica raided the offices because of concerns that the firms were not paying employees salaries owed. The company that owns Absolute Poker and UB, Bianca Gaming, currently owes some $2,750,000 to its employees.  In a heated exchange between UB’s CEO Paul Leggett and the head of UB’s Costa Rican office, Rimola threatened to spill the beans to the American Federal Bureau of Investigation which is in Costa Rica looking to solidify their case, on all he knew if the payment owing to employees is not made.

It is assumed that Costa Rican authorities were attempting to find two of the principals of Absolute Poker, Scott Tom and Brent Beckley, both were named in the US Federal DoJ indictments. Neither of the two wanted men were in their homes when raided by the police.
PokerStars Customer support offices were also raided by the Costa Rican police but have since stated the issue has been resolved.  A PokerStars spokesperson said, “PokerStars expects the office to return to business as usual in short order as this action was most likely taken as a response to problems experienced by other local companies in the same industry.

Article downloaded from the World Wide Web on May 5th, 2011

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