US Poker Room Closures

On the 15th April, 2011 the FBI unsealed indictments against a number of online poker rooms and people involved with their operation. They also tried to seize a number of bank accounts associated with those poker rooms.

The rooms affected were Poker Stars, FullTilt Poker, Absolute Poker and UltimateBet Poker. In this process they seized the primary web sites of these rooms, and now if you go to any of their home pages you will see a notice from the US Department of Justice to the effect that the site has been seized.

Bear in mind that the actual poker game software and servers still function properly, and players are playing in those poker rooms right now.

If you have an account at any of those rooms your login details are still working. You may need to re-download and install the software, but after doing that you should be able to login without any problems.

Both Poker Stars and Full Tilt have suspended American players access to cash tables. Absolute and UB have yet to make a statement on this.

There are some other poker rooms that continue to accept American players and that were not affected by these events. The most well known room accepting US players at this time is BODOG poker, and many are wondering how this can be. It seems that the evidence that the DOJ has against the indicted poker rooms comes from an insider that was involved with the financial transactions for these rooms, and that person has no knowledge of the workings of the other, non affected, rooms.

In recent weeks there have been a number of announcements of partnerships between US friendly online poker rooms and land based casinos in the US. Also, the DC budget which was agreed recently seems to have de facto legalized online gambling in that region. So the timing of this move by the DOJ is giving rise to much speculation about the future legalization of online poker in the US.

Removing the biggest online card rooms from the US market would certainly be of major benefit to any new legal US facing online poker room. What business would not want to have a competition-free marketplace?

Of course, that kind of speculation must include a great element of corruption and insider dealing between various Government personnel and land based gambling concerns int he US, and so it is probably not fruitful to spend time considering it.

The results of these latest events will be clear to all when the whole story has unfolded. Unfortunately for all those people who lost their jobs in the online gaming industry this weekend, by the time this has played out they will long have felt the effects.

Filed Under: Poker News

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