Chris Moneymaker is taking PayPal to court after the e-commerce giant seized $12,000 from his online account. The 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOPE) Main Event champion has issues with the company’s anti-gambling policies and is urging fellow players to join him in his legal fight.
Moneymaker has accused PayPal of being a “payments bully” committing “straight-up theft” after the company confiscated $12,000 in his account citing anti-gambling rules. While the poker ambassador admitted that the amount was related to a fantasy football league during the 2021 NFL season, he claimed that PayPal uses “legal mumbo jumbo” to steal other people’s money.
Moneymaker is being represented by Eric Benzamochan, the attorney who assisted PokerFraudAlert online forum owner Todd Witteles in his anti-SLAPP motion against alleged poker cheat Mike Postle. The motion recently succeeded and Witteles was awarded nearly $27,000 in attorney’s fees and court costs. Moneymaker’s lawsuit against PayPal hasn’t been officially filed as of this writing.
PayPal’s Tough Anti-Gambling Stance
Gone are the days when PayPal was a top choice for gamblers to fund online sites. Since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was implemented in late 2006, PayPal has distanced itself from anything related to gambling.
For many years, the company prevented itself from processing transactions even for states with legalized online gambling regimes. It slightly changed course just a few years ago, when it agreed to become an online payment option for WSOP.com.
But all the same, PayPal is still very strict when it comes to gambling. As stated in the company’s terms of service, it prohibits transactions for most gambling activities carried out in the US or any other countries where gambling is not allowed. This covers payments for wagers and gambling winnings.
Moneymaker’s previous participation in a fantasy football league falls in this category, but PayPal may have gone too far with what they’ve done to Moneymaker’s money. Moneymaker argues that the company has no right to confiscate his money as it is not stated in their published rules.
PayPal has a history of closing gambling-related accounts, but it does not usually seize the account-holder’s funds. Instead, the company returns the monies to their rightful owners before banning their accounts. In Moneymaker’s case, PayPal, without any recourse for the poker pro, confiscated all of the remaining $12,000 from his account.
Moneymaker said PayPal’s action is “immoral and illegal” and called on players who may have encountered a similar experience to speak out, to stop the company from doing these practices.