An epic story unfolded this past week in the gambling capital of North America surrounding the shutdown of Bitcoin's oldest gambling site, SealsWithClubs.eu. "Math Does Not Bow to Guns" Officially, the site was shut down for rather vague reasons. On approximately February 11th, 2015, several…
Officially, the site was shut down for rather vague reasons.
On approximately February 11th, 2015, several events occurred related to operational security that we consider to indicate SealsWithClubs now operates in a perpetual state of jeopardy. We will not divulge details publically, but they may come to light if any team member chooses to come forward of their own volition at a later date.
However, more recently, Chairman of the site Bryan Micon released a statement on YouTube in which he explained that the Nevada Gaming Commission had delivered a warrant at gunpoint and seized all his computer equipment. “At the same time,” he says in his video, “there was an irregularity on one of the SealsWithClubs servers hosted by Voxility in Romania. […] The rest of the SealsWithClubs management team quit. They do not want to continue after this and, you know, I do.”
The statement does not divulge too many specifics as to what motive the government had, but presumably unregulated gambling is taken very seriously in Nevada. “Unregulated” is, of course, a relative term – the site was governed by provably fair mathematics and was “completely solvent up to this point in operations.” At the time of its halt in operations, members were still able to get their deposits out.
The early-morning raid on the morning of February 11th was jarring enough for Micon and his wife that they decided to permanently relocate to the Caribbean Island of Antigua. The Nevada government did not, in fact, levy any charges against the man or even arrest him – they simply harassed him for the space of eight hours and seized his computer equipment. (Probably they’re hoping to find evidence of computer crimes by doing so. From the video, Micon seems confident that no actual case will be brought against him.)
He says that he and his wife had planned the trip as a vacation in advance, but now it’s become a permanent move.
It was pretty clear that it was proper to leave sooner, rather than later. And I didn’t want my two-year-old daughter, whom I love very much, to grow up in a police state where creativity is often met with guns and and handcuffs and what not. That’s just not the environment I think is proper for my daughter to grow up in.
Micon is taking the whole thing in stride. Once in Antigua, he immediately began planning a new site, independent of the other staff who decided to quit, SWCPoker.eu. Reputation is everything, and over the past four years
Antigua, a country which has formerly filed for sanctions with the World Trade Organization against the United States in relation to its internationally-illegal restrictions on internet gambling, will most likely be happy to have such a stalwart operator within its borders. While some in bigger countries believe it to be a haven for online gambling and piracy, the country’s government has specific guidelines for operating an Internet gambling site. These guidelines include a minimum deposit of $100,000 USD. “This fund acts as a form of security for the benefit of players, to ensure that licence holder’s obligations to them such as payment of prizes and the return of deposited money in accounts can be fulfilled,” says the government document outlining the process.
CCN will keep our readers updated on the progress of the new venture.
Images from Shutterstock and Pixabay.
Last modified: January 25, 2020 10:10 PM UTC