"Black Friday" Aftermath

Poker Legislation | estimated reading time
2011. April 18.
Last Friday's happenings shook the poker world. The enormous crackdown in online poker history has dramatically dropped the traffic of the concerned sites. Below you can read a brief summary of the recent news concerning the seizure of the 3 biggest US-friendly poker sites.
fbi

As you must have read, the U.S. Department of Justice has seized the domain names of 4 major poker rooms, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, UB.com and Absolute Poker. The FBI and the Interpol have joined forces to track down the 11 defendants, who are charged with bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling offenses, as the warrant posted on the domains states.

Soon after the domains were seized, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker have released statements that ensured EU players that their accounts and money are safe. PokerStars announced:

"As you may have heard, due to recent developments in the USA, we had to make changes to our website address. We have moved the PokerStars website to www.pokerstars.eu. Our Support email address has also moved to support@pokerstars.eu.

These developments do not have any impact on your ability to play real money games and tourneys on PokerStars - it is business as usual for all players outside the USA. Sit & Go's, Multi-Table Tourneys and cash ring games at all stakes and limit types are running normally. You can rest assured that player balances are safe."


Full Tilt also made a statement that declared:


"Unfortunately, due to recent actions by the U.S. government, Full Tilt Poker is unable to accept "real money" play from U.S. players; however, we continue to conduct business as usual in the rest of the world. Please be assured that your funds remain safe and secure."

Full Tilt Poker has moved to the www.fulltiltpoker.co.uk address, where it conducts business as usual.

UB.com is out of order worldwide, the company moved the site to the http://www.ubpoker.eu/ address. They, however, haven't released any statements, and still allow US player to play for the time being, but new registrations coming from the United States are not allowed. Absolute Poker, a part of the Cereus Network has followed the lead, they moved to the http://www.absolutepoker.eu/ and still accept US players.

However, Absolute Poker is not the only room that allows US players, Bodog, the Cake Poker Network (Victory Poker, Cake Poker) the Everleaf Gaming Network and the Merge Gaming Network (Lock Poker, Carbon Poker) all welcome players from the given region.

While Full Tilt Poker has experienced a vast, 48% traffic drop, PokerStars had 25% Cereus Network 39% less players in just one week; other networks are flying. The Merge Gaming Network us up by 23%, Bodog by 26%, Cake Poker Network by 19%. Also, rooms that did not accept US players even before Black Friday gained even more interest, PartyPoker is up by 9% and PKR had 21% more traffic in a week. All data according to PokerScout.com.

Due to the first fear and the lack of instant information, many players initiated cash-out all around the world, fearing that if they don't do so, their money could be lost. This seems to have overloaded the servers, as there are lots of pending cashouts reported from all over the world. The non-US players reported they experienced some minor delays hitches and errors, but most transfers went all right. What is sure, no US player's cashout request was turned down to date.

Poker Players Alliance

The Poker Players Alliance has released a statement soon after the Department of Justice seized the domains of the sites. John Pappas, Executive Director of the PPA explained that the rights of US player have just been violated:

"Millions of Americans across the country today are outraged over the U.S. Department of Justice’s clear attack on internet poker. While the government’s focus may be on the companieswho operate these games, this is plain and simple a declaration of war on poker players and poker players’ freedoms. Not only are the over 10 million online poker players left without a place to play the game they enjoy, and from which many earn their livelihood, but they also have concerns over the availability of their funds. The PPA believes that no players’ money should be jeopardized by this prosecution. "Let me be clear, online poker is not a crime and the honest poker players across the country willnot stand to be restricted from one of America’s greatest pastimes. On behalf of over one millionmembers, the PPA is working hard to protect the interests of our players and is committed toU.S. citizens’ right to play online poker."

We will be back with more, as further news unfold. Don't forget to like Rakerace.com on Facebook, so you can follow the most important poker news.

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