Poker Community Shows Great Interest in Micon’s Legal Troubles

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swc poker tableFor the first time, the poker gaming community is not discussing online poker legalization. Instead, they are deeply concerned about the case of Bryan Micon, owner of bitcoin online poker room Seals with Clubs, which can now be accessed at SwCPoker.eu.

Nevada Files Criminal Charges against Micon

Recently, Poker News Daily reported that the gambling regulators of Nevada and the office of the attorney general filed criminal charges against the owner of Seals with Clubs for operating an online gambling site without first getting a license from the state.

It may be recalled that, in February, police had raided Micon’s house in Nevada, arrested him, and separated him from his family. He was later released, and shortly after his release, he fled to Antigua with his wife and two-year-old daughter. He stayed in Nevada long enough to pull down the shutters on his immensely popular bitcoin online poker site, Seals with Clubs. Once out of the US, he re-launched the site under a brand new name, SwCPoker.eu.

Poker Community Supports Micon

Ever since he heard that Nevada regulators have filed a criminal case against him, Micon started making use of GoFundMe, a crowdsourcing site, to raise funds to pay his Las Vegas lawyers. As many as 38 donors have already donated a total of $2,915 and the aim to raise as much as $100,000. A single donor, who has chosen to remain anonymous, has donated as much as $1000, and the others who have donated are professional poker players Dutch Boyd, Randy Dorfman, Dave Stann, and Eugene Todd, to mention just a few.

Supporters of Micon argue that he wasn’t actually operating an illegal online poker room because it was a bitcoin poker site and the Nevada government hasn’t officially recognized bitcoin as a currency. Players at Seals with Clubs would deposit in bitcoins, play with chips, and withdraw their winnings in bitcoins. Micon’s supporters also point out that previous poker offenders such as Russ Hamilton, Scott Tom, Howard Lederer, and Jen Larson have hardly been punished, and Micon hasn’t violated the laws as badly as they had.

But Not All Support Micon

The GoFundMe page reflects a certain level of support for Micon, but most poker players feel that “he should have known better” and not “he didn’t do anything wrong.”

A Two Plus Two user started a discussion on Micon’s legal problems when the Nevada government announced criminal charges against him. The thread, which now has over 186 posts, indicates that people feel that Micon should have studied the laws before opening Seals with Clubs.

Many have noted that he operated Seals with Clubs from Nevada after Nevada regulated its intra-state online poker industry. They feel that it was just a matter of time before the state’s regulators began investigating him.

Micon Remains Silent

Apart from thanking his supporters and stating that he is “exploring all possible options,” Micon has remained silent. Chesnoff & Schonfeld, a law firm based in Las Vegas, is currently representing him. Obviously, they must have advised him to stay in Antigua.

May 9, 2015: • No Comments

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