PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and UB.com issue official statements on DOJ action
Last week, the domain names of the largest U.S-facing Internet poker rooms were seized by the United States Department of Justice in a story that’s sent shockwaves through not only the online gaming industry but the entire Internet.
Three of the largest of those sites, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and UB.com, have issued statements to the press or players in response to that seizure.
The biggest immediate result of the action is that the companies are officially exiting the U.S. market for the time being.
“As you may have heard, we have had to suspend real money poker services to people based in the US due to legal developments there,” the PokerStars statement reads, per Internet-Poker.co.uk. “These developments are confined to US and not have any impact on your ability to continue our services.”
“Please be assured player balances are safe. There is no cause for concern. For all customers outside the US it is business as usual.
“The PokerStars website has been moved to www.pokerstars.eu, and our Support Email address is now email@example.com. We apologize to our players for any inconvenience caused by this disruption.”
Full Tilt Poker
Full Tilt’s statement was just as brief, but provided a contact number with an invitation for interested parties to contact the company.
“[Full Tilt CEO Raymond] Bitar and Full Tilt Poker believe online poker is legal – a position also taken by some of the best legal minds in the United States,” the Full Tilt Poker statement reads. “Full Tilt Poker is, and has always been committed to preserving the integrity of the game and abiding by the law.”
“I am surprised and disappointed by the government’s decision to bring these charges. I look forward to Mr. Burtnick’s and my exoneration,” Bitar said in the statement. “Unfortunately, as a result of this action, Full Tilt Poker has decided that it must suspend ‘real money’ play in the United States until this case is resolved.
“However, Full Tilt Poker will continue to provide peer-to-peer online poker services outside of the United States.”
For its part, the CEREUS network has sent messages to players registered at its online poker sites, UB.com and Absolute Poker, reassuring them that their funds were safe.
“Rest assured that your funds are and will be always safe,” one of those messages read. “We will do our best in order to you can receive your funds within a reasonable time frame. Once it is processed you will be getting an email with the pick-up details to collect your funds at any western union location.”
The next day, however, a report was published stating that “US players are blocked from registering and US players cannot make a deposit, withdraw or transfer from their accounts,” according to UltimatePokerForum.com.
“As for your affiliates links right now we are in the process of moving our affiliate links to a different server which will allow the affiliates and their current links to continue to be active and tracking to our new websites,” which are www.absolutepoker.eu and www.ubpoker.eu, the statement read. “However, please note that US traffic will be blocked from registering.”