Over the weekend, it became apparent that something other than reported technical issues was wrong with the e-wallet ePassporte, as one by one, online poker sites began posting messages about no longer being able to process ePassporte transactions. With no official statement from ePassporte, information began leaking out that the e-wallet was notifying poker sites that it was dropping out of the internet gaming business due to a widespread investigation by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The question that remains unanswered is why ePassporte suddenly took this action when it was widely known that the DoJ had been engaged in this investigation for quite some time.
While some players may be experiencing NETeller déjà vu, this particular situation differs in that player accounts have not been locked as in the NETeller case, and players with ePassaporte debit cards have been able to cash out. Paradoxically, this action comes on the heels of a bill introduced on April 10th by Congressmen Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX) that would block online gambling prohibitions, and specifically the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).