Bank of America Closes Daniel Negreanu’s Bank Accounts

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Daniel Negreanu’s Bank of America and MasterCard accounts were closed

Poker icon Daniel Negreanu has a lot of money. With $32.3 million in live scores, the Toronto native is the world’s leading money winner in recorded live tournaments. That’s not counting his contract with PokerStars or any cash game winnings he has amassed throughout his long career in the industry.

Unfortunately, poker players don’t always have the best reputation and the constant deposit and withdrawal of large sums of cash make them a target for increased scrutiny. Some banks have even shunned legal online poker operators in the US, choosing not to process industry payments in New Jersey, Delaware, or Nevada, the three states where internet gambling is regulated.

Now it appears that Negreanu’s banking activity has triggered some red flags, leading his bank to close all of his accounts with no explanation:

Negreanu’s situation is not unique in the high-stakes poker world. Poker pro Doug Polkresponded to Negreanu’s message, claiming that his bank had done something similar one-and-a-half years ago. “They froze 700-800K of my money and didn’t tell me shit for two months,” he said. “Time to bank Chase.”

Poker pro Haralabos Voulgaris chimed in, saying, “100% your account will get closed as soon as Chase realizes you play poker.” Supernova Elite grinder Ankush Mandavia‏ also claimed that he had been “perma-banned” from his bank without being told why.

In a subsequent Tweet, Negreanu laid the blame on a controversial program called Operation Chokepoint, a government initiative that investigates banking institutions that process payments for industries deemed to be at a higher risk of fraudulent activity. That can include everything from ammunition sales and dating services to payday loans and online gambling:

Operation Chokepoint has been heavily criticized, with some claiming that it is nothing more than a tool for the Obama administration to crack down on industries it doesn’t like. They say the program bypasses due process and pressures financial institutions to cut off certain companies’ access to banking services.

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-St.) told St. Louis media that the initiative is a “thinly veiled ideological attack on industries… such as gun sellers and coal producers.”

Negreanu also appeared to have his MasterCardcanceled:

Legal US online poker sites have themselves dealt with payment processing difficulties due to the misunderstanding surrounding their legality. In May of last year, Garden State iGaming companies were seeing over half of customers’ credit card payments rejected. Since then, New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement officials have made a point to hold meetings with financial institutions and explain that their product is legal in the state. New credit card codes have also been issued.

Even so, companies like American Express and Discover refuse to do business with “high risk” industries like online gambling.

PayPal, however, is the lifeblood of the burgeoning daily fantasy sports industry and has recently been approved to offer its services in the three US states where iGaming is legal.

12 COMMENTS

    • I can *sort of* understand credit cards being closed for this sort of thing, but bank accounts make no sense to me. No matter what the deposit/withdrawal sizes and frequencies are, the bank is still sitting on your capital most of the time and earning money lending it out to others–why would they ever want to close such an account?I don’t know anything about Operation Chokepoint, but I would have to assume that this (or something similar) was forcing the banks’ actions in these cases.

    • Well, at least somebody managed to equate Operation Chokepoint with an attack on guns. Because we need more guns. And less poker.

    • I wokeup this morning and took a shower and cleaned my dirty room. Now im waiting for pizza ad gonna play poker. ANyone care?

      Why cant rich people just live normal without thinking they need to tell the world every little non importnt thing in their life. who carrreessss

    • I wokeup this morning and took a shower and cleaned my dirty room. Now im waiting for pizza ad gonna play poker. ANyone care?

      Why cant rich people just live normal without thinking they need to tell the world every little non importnt thing in their life. who carrreessss

      TMZ is valued at $100 million. I think people care about celebrities.

    • Poker Pro’s aren’t doing themselves any favors with deposits and withdraw amounts in excess of a year’s pay at some of the biggest banks in America. I’d move my poker cash to a small community bank, rent a safety deposit box and tell them to keep their 1%. That way it’s secure and when needed is convenient as cash. If a whopper of a check is needed, better bank in Canada.

    • Daniel, you needed to grease the palm of the local BOA branch manager! Million dollar client with no personal “tip” = bye

    • just take the chip D nEG yr already sold why hold off- Banking is the scam of all scams if you have $10 you can loan out $100 dollars and charge interest to customers who unfortunately (even with you tube internet education years of history etc) still believe wall street “confidence” and especially US Govt but all govts of major currencies when they say trust us “You don’t want the banks to collapse, you will lose your $” My money is safe in my bank is 1940’s housewife shit…but…give it a few years and we will be unable to shop travel buy/sell without being a personalised credit card- cash is almost dead so numbers on the ticker and a piece of paper bank statement may be all the material world comes down to. Sorry for the doom and gloom but fairytales have an ending and we have stretched the f out of this civilised living schtick where ipads and deadlocks on our doors mean we are informed and secure and hence safe. Time to stop making fun of the doomsday prep reality shows and think “USA and most of so called civilised europe is basically 200 to 400 years old and we are done- what abourt the previous million and billion years? for poker players ev and statistics are key- look at the percentage of time our “history books” cover with fact and how much they make up assume and the ratio will be close to 1% history of man and 99% mystery. Anyone who has read any of my shit knows I don’t proof read and go on rants so picking at my grammar or lack of research doesn’t stick look at what I am thinking and trying to bring in the light not what I have written incoherently or at misguided wisdoms.

    • I’m sure Daniel could make a bit of cash selling that cute little ass of his – if that won’t work I can lend him $100 at 11000000% interest.