The man instrumental in banning online poker in the US, citing 'American values' in the run up to the 2006 UIGEA - is now himself facing a long prison sentence for fraud.
BREAKING - allegations emerged today that former US House Speaker Dennis Hastert paid off an as yet unnamed person to the tune of $3.5 million to cover up a 'prior misconduct'.
Update - Hastert had sexual relations with a male student while working as a high school teacher.
In a massive blackmail scheme, Hastert is said to have siphoned money from a multitude of bank accounts between 2010 and 2014 to cover up past misdemeanours while serving in the Republican party.
Federal charges against him include evading of bank reporting requirements and making false statements to the FBI. Each count could result in a $250,000 fine and a five year prison sentence. Read the full indictment here.
Social conservative Hastert wrote up his 'American Values Agenda' in 2006, an itinerary of ten 'moral priorities' including the prohibition of internet gambling (stricter laws against gay marriage also made the list).
Efforts to ban online poker, which began shortly after its birth in the late 1990s, were initially considered futile. They reappeared in 2006 as part of Dennis Hastert’s American Values Agenda, a collection of 10 red-meat issues designed to mobilize the Republican base in a mid-term election year. Hastert and company were optimistic about getting an online gambling ban past the Republican-dominated House.
- All In Magazine, The Truth about Online Poker
Only a few rooms such as Americas Cardroom continue to operate in the US market, sadly with a drastically reduced player traffic and much of the public put off by the impression online poker is 'illegal' for the player.
Earlier this month Politico approached Haster to discuss his problems with the IRS. Hastert replied 'I'm not going to talk to you'.
Similar to Sheldon Adelson, Hastert has preached the 'evils of gambling' when it comes to the internet arena, yet fully supports the live casino industry. In the past he spoke in Vegas about his party's pro-gaming stance, promised no restrictions on it and accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations.
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