Bryan Micon has taken to the crowdfunding website GoFundMe in order to raise money to fight a felony charge brought this week at the former chairman of the Seals with Clubs (SwC) poker network by Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt. At a press conference yesterday in Las Vegas, Laxalt announced the filing of a criminal complaint against Micon for operating an unlicensed interactive gaming website, a category “B” felony that comes with a potential punishment of 10 years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.
“Defending Nevada’s worldwide reputation as the ‘Gold Standard of Gaming Integrity’ is a paramount concern to the tens of thousands of Nevadans employed by the industry and the 41 million tourists who visit the state each year,” Laxalt told reporters. “Operating or otherwise conducting gaming in the state without a license is illegal, and this office will aggressively pursue individuals and companies who seek to circumvent gaming regulations.”
Micon Defends Innocence
Along with the felony charge, Laxalt also had a $20,000 arrest warrant approved by the Las Vegas Justice Court, but apprehending Micon might be troublesome considering the 36-year-old has relocated to the gaming friendly island country of Antigua. “I didn’t really want my two-year-old daughter, whom I love very much, to grow up in a police state, where creativity is often met with guns and handcuffs,” Micon said in a YouTube video last February.
Micon has adamantly denied any wrongdoing in the operation of SwC, once the largest online Bitcoin poker network in the world. To fight the challenges presented by Laxalt, Micon has created a GoFundMe page seeking $100,000 for legal representation.
“I maintain that I have committed no wrongdoing… The price for representation will quickly deplete my funds, and I am asking for donations from anyone who feels like helping me,” Micon appeals. “As a husband, father of a 2 year old daughter, & outspoken Bitcoin advocate, I desire nothing more than to continue to be with my wife, raise my daughter, and continue to build layers on top of the Bitcoin protocol.”
Micon’s last three months have been rather eventful. In February, he revealed 10 agents raided his Vegas home with guns before placing the SwC chairman in handcuffs and seizing his personal electronics.
After initially saying the poker network was offline due to technical glitches, SwC announced it was ceasing all operations due to threats to the card room’s “operational security” that would prevent it from remaining open. While Micon said the “rest of Seals with Clubs management quit” following the closure, he decided to move to Antiqua and create a new Bitcoin poker site, SwCPoker.eu.
The move to prosecute Micon is one of significant importance, at least according to those who are leading the prosecution. “Gaming regulatory authorities believe it to be the first state-level Internet gaming prosecution in Nevada’s history,” the press release reads.
But whether or not it leads to the first guilty verdict for a state-level Internet gaming crime won’t be known for some time. Micon is hoping to ante up his defense, but as of this writing his fundraiser has brought in only $1,940.