Defense puts cards on table in NYC poker case

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NEW YORK (AP) ? Defense lawyers are trying to persuade a federal court in New York City that online poker isn’t really gambling.

The lawyers say online poker companies merely collect fees to allow people to play against one another, using their skills for advantage. They say there’s no participation by each website’s owner, known as the house.

Their court papers say charges should be dropped against St. George, Utah, bank executive John Campos and co-defendant Chad Elie (EE’-leye). The government says Elie persuaded the banker to process money for foreign online poker sites. Both have pleaded not guilty.

The men were charged this year. The prosecution is aimed at shutting down the three largest Internet poker companies operating in the United States.

The lawyers filed the papers Friday and Monday.