UK to change online gambling regulations after hundreds frozen out of accounts

Hundreds of British poker players have been frozen out of their online assets after Full Tilt Poker was accused of illegal practices in the USA. The United Kingdom now says it wishes to “drastically overhaul” online gambling licenses.

The Guardian reported this weekend that UK Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt is looking for ways to reform online gambling in the UK. Under the current rules any overseas company can advertise to British residents without a license from the UK Gambling Commission, as the British government relies on foreign and overseas regulators.

This, however led to hundreds of players from the UK being frozen from their accounts on Full Tilt poker as this online casino, the second largest poker site in the world, is being indicted by the US Department of Justice and the FBI.. “This highlights why the government is looking at reforming how overseas-based operators are regulated and we hope to make an announcement in the next few weeks,” says a government spokesman in reaction to the FBI freezing bank accounts associated with Full Tilt Poker in several countries.

Full Tilt and the two other largest online poker sites, PokerStars and Absolute Poker, are facing the same charges: using a multitude of fake retail websites to keep US authorities from noticing these companies were being paid to offer online poker, which is forbidden in the United States. The FBI and the Justice Department are looking to reclaim at least $7.5bln from these cases, and have thus moved to freeze their (mostly foreign) assets.