DOJ visit to Absolute Poker offices - questions remain.

Ian_go

Dormant account
Joined
May 7, 2004
Location
Canada
The RCMP's visit to the Vancouver marketing office of Absolute Poker came to the broader gaming industry's attention via Youtube. There, as part of Perspective's Weekly, a regular video production of the Association of Players, Casinos, and Web-masters, viewers can watch an interview with Gian Perroni, former Vice President of operations for Absolute Poker. During the interview, Perroni talks about how "A couple of weeks ago the RCMP and (US) Department of Justice came into an independent marketing office and asked questions about the operation". Mr Perroni is sure to underline the fact that the company visited by these authorities is separate from Absolute Poker on more than one occasion during the chat with Jay Todd of the APCW. Perroni went on to say that the company "provides marketing services to Absolute Poker and many other companies." Both comment on the incident and express shock the fact that something like this could take place in Canada.

Vancouver is home to several high profile Online Gaming related companies. Absolute Poker is one, Riptown.com, the marketing arm of Bodog is another. In fact in Burnaby, a city just a 15 minutes in driving time from Vancouver, another company runs a customer call centre for Bodog customers. The company is know as Triple Crown Customer Services and is thought to employ over 100 people in their 24/7 call centre. In fact there is over 20 Online Gambling related companies that have offices each employing between 2 and 200 people in Vancouver or close vacinity. So why did the RCMP and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) come knocking at the door of the company that provides marketing services to Absolute Poker? To some Online Gambling insiders
You do not have permission to view link Log in or register now.
 
Best Halloween Bonuses from Accredited Casinos

winbig

Keep winning this amount.
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Location
Pennsylvania
They apparently can't do anything against the casinos/poker rooms, so they're putting pressure on the companies that provide their marketing services...

I just hope they call their bluff and realize there's nothing they can do to them.
 

Ian_go

Dormant account
Joined
May 7, 2004
Location
Canada
Problem is that the DOJ is having an impact, even just by "asking questions" to these companies. There is more to this Absolute Poker story I think. The truth will eventually come out I am sure.


They apparently can't do anything against the casinos/poker rooms, so they're putting pressure on the companies that provide their marketing services...

I just hope they call their bluff and realize there's nothing they can do to them.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
So far, we're being passed around from detachment to detachment without comment by the Mounties, and Absolute Poker is ignoring all enquiries on this.
 

Ian_go

Dormant account
Joined
May 7, 2004
Location
Canada
Not sure if AP or the RCMP will be forthcoming. Jet if anyone can extract more info from Gian Perroni, I am sure it is you. :thumbsup:
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
Perroni is an ex-employee. I'm more interested in engaging with the authorities who are alleged to have carried out this visit, and of course with the current management of Absolute Poker to obtain their reaction and perspective.

Winbig, I don't know about Dudley Doright (LOL) but the media liaison Mounties are thus far not exactly the most helpful and forthcoming I've dealt with and it is proving to be something of a bitch to reach someone who is *authorised* to give a comment.
 

paul02085

Dormant account
Joined
Jan 29, 2002
Location
USA
What are US DOJ people doing barging into Canadian businesses and with the aid of Canadian Authorities no less?????

What the f...?:mad:
 

SKUNX

Banned User
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Location
Costa Rica
I tried sitting on my hands and I couldnt , I must say something about their offices in Costa Rica .

They have the most gorgeous woman around honestly any girl that applies for a job there has to be an ex model . I heard they are thinking of relocating though is there any truth to this?
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
So far, it seems no-one wants to talk about this or even acknowledge it as I am still getting bounced around in Mountie-land and Absolute Poker simply ignore the numerous emails and chasers I have sent.

If anyone has contact with J. Todd (maybe through one of the affiliate sites) perhaps they could ask him what the title of the raided company was so that I can contact them direct - it may be one of those outsourced marketing outfits or an Absolute subsidiary under another company name.

I think Gian Perroni is now working for Mahjong Mania in Canada, so I'm trying him as well.
 

SKUNX

Banned User
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Location
Costa Rica
I will try looking into this as well , I have some friends that work there if do find out anything I will post
 

lots0

Banned User - troll posts - flaming
Joined
Jun 3, 2006
Location
Hell on Earth
I don't think your going to get the RCMP to comment on this, unless they are forced too. I know a little something about them and I can tell you that bringing up the FACT that the RCMP was used as an 'escort' for the US Justice Dept. inside Canada is not something the RCMP wants to become public knowledge inside Canada.

Being used as a door mat is one thing, having it become public knowledge in your own country that you were used as a door mat by your powerful neighbor is something all together different.
 

SKUNX

Banned User
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Location
Costa Rica
Maybe your right , I will try and speak with the Operations Manager of their location here in San Jose , we do on occasion have a cup of coffee together since they are located in a Mall type complex with some office space in the top floors .

Although I have heard from sources that business now a days isnt quite what it used to be of course as we all may know , there is a strong feeling of stress in the gaming industry right now in Costa Rica , I will add my 2 cents and let you guys know of anything I hear.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
And Gian Perroni has not responded either, having been so voluble on the YouTube webcast.

As regards the RCMP, I would be surprised if they did not (eventually) respond to a media enquiry with at the very least a "No Comment" We'll see.

Absolute Poker remains silent.
 

Auditor

Dormant account
Joined
Jun 24, 2006
Location
APCW Lunar Base
Jetset,

JTodd gets back home tomorrow. I will see what kind of contact info he got from his interview.


Anthony, APCW Auditing Director
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
Thanks - I'm interested especially in the name of the company visited by these officials so that I can engage them directly. Still no response from Perroni.
 

jerryg

Dormant account
Joined
Feb 6, 2002
I think Gian Perroni is now working for Mahjong Mania in Canada, so I'm trying him as well.

I don't know anything about that site, but I can say he owns Vegas Poker 247. He is on MSN Messenger all the time so it should not be difficult to reach him. I'm on the other side of the world and I still see him online frequently.

Interesting character this guy. I met him once in Vegas a few years ago. At that time he was running a marketing company called Market Edge Direct. It was later acquired by Spotted Dog (before there was a spotted dog), who basically acquired the client accounts and opened a new company.

Just a hunch, but I suspect it may have more to do with some old dealings.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
Things are looking up, I'm now at last in contact with the right police officer, and if the APCW can come through with the name of the visited company we'll be good to go, I think.

My info that Gian is working at Dynasty/Mahjong Mania is very recent btw.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
Silence is golden, it appears...

DID DoJ CANADIAN RAID CLOSE DOWN VANCOUVER ONLINE MARKETING FIRM?

"Silence is golden" appears to be the official line....

Over the past few weeks industry personnel and players alike have been trying to work out what really happened in a United States Department of Justice and apparently RCMP-sanctioned "visit" to a Canadian marketing company in a Vancouver, British Columbia suburb in November.

Much of the interest has centred on the apparently unlimited reach of the DoJ's enforcement arm across the international US-Canadian border, and whether it was an online gambling-related incident.

It has been alleged, at this stage on hearsay and reports from persons at two removes from the still un-named company involved, that the DoJ accompanied by Royal Canadian Mounted Police officials, pitched up at the marketing company, which apparently carried out straightforward promotional work for or was connected with the Absolute Poker online poker provider.

Staff at the company were allegedly questioned, although the content of the questions is not known. Despite this, speculation is running rife that the "raid" was designed more to intimidate than prosecute, because as far as is known no arrests were made and no subsequent criminal action undertaken.

If the goal was to intimidate, it certainly worked according to some reports, which now indicate that the company is closed to all intents and purposes with employees carrying out their duties from their homes. Sources within the company have been quoted as saying that "vital" employees have been given 3 months to accept transfers to Costa Rica, implying that the marketing company is re-locating following the not-so-friendly official visit.

More recently, other company insiders are alleged to have claimed that the long arm of the U.S. law reached into Canada as a result of a routine domain check that unearthed the B.C. location of the marketing company. This domain has now been edited to reflect a Belize address, lending credence to the report.

In an attempt to get some first hand confirmation on the thus far largely hearsay-based story, InfoPowa on several occasions contacted Absolute Poker, a webmaster who ran with the story on a YouTube video insert and a former Absolute employee called Gian Perroni who was the original source of the story.

Despite repeated attempts the search for more information was ignored and the visited company remained unidentified, making it difficult to engage directly with the staff who had been questioned by the DoJ officials.

The wall of silence grew higher when an official request for a media comment was lodged with the RCMP officer who was apparently involved in the case, S/Sgt. Fred Pinnock who is the NCO in charge of the Integrated Illegal Gaming Enforcement Team (IIGET) "E" Division in Burnaby, B.C.

We asked for the name of the company approached, who was questioned and in what connection and whether the presence of United States officials "visiting" Canadian citizens on Canadian soil was sanctioned or supported by court order, warrant or treaty. We also drew attention to the widespread speculation that the visit may have had an intimidatory objective.

S/Sgt. Pinnock's reply gave an indication of the nature of the DoJ visit, but no detail. In a courteous but firm "no comment" the officer said: "I apologize. I'm not at liberty to provide you information beyond the fact that attendance was made at the request of US officials. They were not participants in the conversation."

S/Sgt. Pinnock did, however, say that he had referred our enquiry to the U.S. Department of Justice, but nothing has been heard from that organisation and the RCMP did not give any detail on a follow-up contact in the States. We're not holding our breath pending a comment from the US officials.

All that is known at first hand and for certain therefore is that US officials were present and instigated the visit, escorted by Canadian national police from an illegal gambling team. And the nature of the visit and the questions asked (the RCMP claims the American officials were silent) will not be disclosed.

Quite apart from the mysterious silence of everyone directly involved in the incident, and the intriguing identity of the company concerned it is a strange and worrying sequence of events, especially if the speculation is true that the company shut down as a consequence of this visit.

Regrettably, the situation remains unclarified by official statements as to exactly what the objective was in November, when an apparently official enforcement "visit" by US and RCMP officers was sufficient to at least temporarily shut down a thriving business.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
The obvious conclusion to be drawn from this is that the DoJ are prepared and capable of crossing into Canada in order to pay "visits" to Canadian companies involved even on the marketing periphery of the industry...and that they can do so with the compliant cooperation of Canadian federal authorities.

That's a scary thought, as is the fact that said officials are not prepared to divulge the justification and authority for their activities.
 

jerryg

Dormant account
Joined
Feb 6, 2002
But what can they really do other than try to use intimidation tactics? So far as I'm aware, running this type of marketing company isn't illegal there. Heck, Canada's probably the world leader for these types of agencies. Seems to me that it's just another case of the DoJ flexing a phony muscle.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
That's what I am trying to find out, along with what authority is necessary before Canadian government officials (the RCMP) can mount what sounds like a raid - despite all the euphemistic use of words like *visit* - on a Canadian company on Canadian soil...and effectively shut it down?

The RCMP spokesman has refused to provide detail and has referred this to the American feds, but has admitted that the incident was at their behest and that they were present, although they remained silent (he says).

What was the reason for the visit?

What was the name of the company?

Who did it involve and how long did it last?

What was said? Did the Americans really remain silent throughout?

Do the RCMP have carte blanche to take foreign enforcement officers with them on a *visit* to a Canadian company?

If not, what legal requirements must first be satisfied before such "visits" are permitted? Is there a treaty? Does probable cause/a prima facie case have to be established to the satisfaction of a government magistrate or judge and a warrant issued beforehand?

If the above is the requirement, was it adhered to?

There are far too many unanswered questions here that the Canadian mainstream press may have more clout to handle successfully. We have clearly been given the brush off.

If there have been irregularities I would hope to see embarrassing questions about this incident asked by Canadian Opposition MPs to ensure that law enforcement officials understand their boundaries of authority.

There has, of course been no response whatsoever from the DoJ thus far, and it would seem unlikely that one will be forthcoming.
 

jerryg

Dormant account
Joined
Feb 6, 2002
Those are all excellent questions. It is a shame that no one has answered any of them.

My best guess (and it is only a guess) is that this is a deliberate intelligence gathering mission, but what kind of information could you really gather from an operation like this? Where they spend marketing dollars? I hardly see that as worth the trip. Who the affiliates are? That would be an interesting scenario.

Who knows. Maybe they were just checking in to make sure that gaming servers weren't physically at this location. Anyway, I'm just speculating left and right here.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
An interesting new development

Here's an interesting new development. We thought we had gone about as far as we were going get with the RCMP on this story, when suddenly our spokesperson at E Division emailed the following:

QUOTE:

I'd like to provide you with a brief description of what actually took place.

Our two female constables attended this [still not identified] company's Vancouver office at the request of the American authorities.

Questions were asked in a respectful tone. Answers to these inquiries were provided. Our US counterparts were informed of the results of our inquiries. Full stop.

There was no American law enforcement or prosecutorial presence. There
was no raid. There was no jurisdictional issue. This was a routine
investigative inquiry received from a foreign government. The RCMP
accommodated the request. UNQUOTE

From this it would appear that the DoJ were not present at all, and that the RCMP were complying with a "law enforcement to law enforcement" international request for cooperation which did not involve threats of legal consequences.

But, again the spokesman has not revealed the identity of the company, or what the enquiry and DoJ questions were all about.

The way things are going - with continued silence from all concerned - it doesn't look as if that will ever be known publicly.
 
Top