internet gamblig debt

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by suzyq1, Apr 5, 2001.

  1. suzyq1

    suzyq1 Guest

    I've been reading these posts for some time. I've learned a lot. However, I fear nothing is going to help
    me and my debt problem. I was foolish and ran up over $35,000 debt on four different cards at internet casinos. I have tried to dispute these debts with two of the cards, FUSA and FleetBank. I sent them a letter stating that these debts were uncollectible and referenced the RICO act and Missouri state statutes which say that gambling on the internet is illegal in Missouri and illegal gambling debts are uncollectable (the credit card company being a stake holder in the financial transaction). They, of course, have disagreed with this and said it is a credit card debt, not a gambling debt. I am aware that there have been
    court cases concerning this in the last four years. I hired Lexington to dispute the late charges which
    have been piling up on my credit reports (120 days late on both cards). I can't afford to make the minimum payments on all four cards. I am current on my Sears Gold Mastercard and my Citibank cards, although both are almost maxed out. To top things off, my husband is thinking of leaving me. We own a house with some equity but not that much. It is owned jointly and Missouri is a "joint tenancy of the entirety state". The only account that is joint is the Fleet account ($8300).
    I am seeing a counselor and have no intention of repeating this mistake, but is there any hope, financially, for me? Do you think Lexington can help? Sorry for the length of the post.
  2. me

    me Well-Known Member

    Re: places to check out

    I'm confused... Are you saying that under the law you are not responsible for these charges? I think your defense is weak at best. It's one thing to dispute a charge saying that you didn't receive a service or merchandise for your charge. But in fact, you did receive a service - gambling with your odds on winning, right? How do you dispute that with the credit card company?
  3. Paul

    Paul Guest

    Re: places to check out

    Wow..your situation is challenging, and I am sorry for your gambling illness.

    I personally agree with "me", that your defense is weak, and I would personally have some moral issues with simply walking away from all of those debts.. as a realist, however, it appears from your description, that paying off this debt is going to be impossible. Certainly with the late fees, compounded interest, etc.. if you can't pay even the minimums, you'll never get out of the hole.

    Frankly, I don't see how you have any choice but to file bankruptcy. This will ease the stress you must undoubtedly be feeling, and allow you to focus on recovering from your addiction. A chapter 13 is what I would file (and did several years ago), but a 7 is an option if you don't wish to repay any of the debt.

    This is only my opinion, and I would not value it too highly, since I am not a health care or financial professional...

    Good luck to you.
  4. me

    me Well-Known Member

    Re: places to check out

    Would you're defense be the same if you had won $35,000 and the casinos had to credit your cards?

    I don't think you would have told the credit cards "Please disregard the credit on my accounts because they are internet casinos."

    Something to ponder...
  5. dave

    dave Well-Known Member

    Re: places to check out

    This situation is beyond Lexington's capacity to help. I would shell out a few bucks to talk to a lawyer versed in credit and commercial issues to assist you. I do not think that this defense is weak or friviolous as the last poster states. Whether these debts are enforceable raises a substantial question. Some credit card companies, which seem to understand their own liability in facilitating internet gambling, have taken steps to block charges at these sites.

    You should get counsel right away and start leaning on these companies to charge the transactions back to the merchants involved because they violate federal and state law. They have the power to do this.
  6. me

    me Well-Known Member

    Re: places to check out

    I'm not sure about that. What if someone decides to visit a child porn site and signs up using a credit card? Can they call the credit card company and say that the site engages in illegal activity and not have to pay for it?

    I don't think so. In effect, you are walking into court with both parties hands being dirty.
  7. R1

    R1 Guest

    Re: places to check out

    Forget about the Internet gambling argument, it will not work. Now, boy.. you are in deep troubles.

    Take a look at your situation, stop accumulating more debt. Calculate your networth and see how much you owe. Then consolidate your debt before your FICO drops to the bottom with some creditors like CU. A 15% loan is still better than a 23% that you might get from CC. Change your revolving credit to installement loan and come up with a budget.

    Follow that budget tightly, create two accounts and use cash from now on. Use automatic withdrawal to save your pay before it reaches your wallet.

    Stop your addiction, possibly sell your computer and avoid it physically... keep yourself distracted by something else. Don't think you will get any chance to make that debt back with luck... Online casinos are computer programs, there is no odd to win. Computer programmers write those things to take in money, not to give out free cash. You get same chance of winning money from playing a parking meter... so stop feeding more hard-earned money into it.

    Get marital counselling. Sit down and talk with your husband and see if marriage can be saved. Identify the problem and if relationship cannot be maintained... then negotiate for divorce. You want equal estate and possibly a one-time payment (let's say $20,000) in exchange for lower alimony.

    Then prepare to continue your life as usual. Get a job if you don't have one. Get some vocational training if you do not have good education/skills. Get government assistance in obtaining these trainings and you maybe qualified for tax breaks as well.

    You really have to be very careful at this time as BK + divorce will be very very difficult to suffer through it. With a divorce, you have less emotional and finacial support... and less flexibility to get investment/tax reduction and credits. With an additional BK, you will burn your bridge and get stuck at the very bottom. A lot of employers and landlord check credits.

    Imagine that you have live alone after the divorce and you cannot even get a phone line and apartment because of the bad credit. Without these, how can you get a job? It's all inside a vicious cycle...

    It will be difficult but there is still hope. Talk to your family physician, social worker, and relatives for support. You will need to be strong to make it. Best of luck.
  8. Shirley

    Shirley Well-Known Member

    It might be....

    It is worth mentioning here, I think, that this situtation may be similar to that of sites like, a third party service which simply sells, in a sense, an electronic money order, and allows very small time sellers to accept credit cards for purchases. When the seller does not deliver, PayPal claims the buyer has no right to a chargeback.

    If you funded an online gambling account by using a credit card, what you purchased via your credit card was an electronic money order, so to speak, which you then had deposited into your gambling account. In this case, charging back such debts is questionable.

    I would definitely speak to an attorney about your particular situation
  9. R1

    R1 Guest

    Re: It might be....

    And don't forget to ask about attorney fee during all this time... it can add up quickly. Do you have any high school friend or classmate that became attorneys? Maybe you can get their help and deferred legal fee payment later.
  10. sam

    sam Well-Known Member

    Re: It might be....

    So you are saying you perpetrated a crime (internet gambling), using a credit card?

    I wouldn't go about writing letters in a public forum stating that you are guilty of a (felony,misdermeanor), as that can come back and haunt you.

    Good luck, addictions of any sort are hard, and most creditors do not care to hear your story. I hope you get help, it will make the light at the end of the tunnell much better once you have a grasp on the addiction.
  11. dave

    dave Well-Known Member

    Re: It might be....


    This can be a very informative board but an attorney will give you far better advice about the legal aspects of the problem than people not familiar with the statutes involved or how courts have interpreted them. Ultimately, that is all that counts. It is clear that internet gambling is contrary to public policy, that the courts have said trhese gambling debts are not enforceable and that credit card companies of US cardholders who fund these off-shore gambling accounts are aware that you are not buying shoes with the money. So I think you have a good shot at getting some favorable action.
  12. Lighten Up

    Lighten Up Guest

    Re: It might be....

    Well arent we just the judging people. I think that we have all had un-paid bills that is why we visit board like this. So telling people that it is weak to not pay a bill......ummm HELLO.
  13. R1

    R1 Guest

    We are ALL delinquent?

    No... not everyone has unpaid bills. Just because you cheat on your spouse or taxes does that mean every one else is doing that.

    Maybe you are hanging out with the wrong group of friends...
  14. Himmel

    Himmel Guest

    Re: It might be....

    Forget casinos, go to sportsbook. Put $35k on Denver +9 pts vs. San Antonio, your problem is solved! ;)
  15. R1

    R1 Guest

    How about tech stocks?

    Or buy 10000 shares of and pray for it to go up... you might become a millionaire...
  16. bj

    bj Guest

    Re: How about tech stocks?

    I don't appreciate folks making light of this situation.
    Definetely see a lawyer for sound advice...

    I suspect that as you start those first steps to get things together, it will really help.
    take care
  17. Terry

    Terry Well-Known Member

    debt is not collectable

    Do a charge back on all of your cards,if they refuse let them sue you,then you can counter sue and even make money off of this.About two years ago a lady in Califrnia got all of her cards paid and an undisclosed settlement from Cryptologic symbol CRYP on here.

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