Merge Gaming has stopped accepting new U.S. players, according to players and two site representatives. The U.S. country option was removed from the new account form last week at Carbon Poker, PlayersOnly, Sportsbook.ag and SuperBook. The decision affects the poker platform, casino games and sports betting products.
The policy may not be a permanent one, as noted by one representative’s response and past Merge Gaming actions. U.S. players with an existing account on Merge Gaming are permitted to stay on the network.
Merge Gaming First Restricted New U.S. Players in 2011
In May 2011, PlayersOnly, Sportsbook.ag and SuperBook stopped accepting new U.S. players. Carbon Poker followed in June 2011.
At the time, Merge Gaming was the largest U.S.-facing online poker network. This was due to the influx of players after Black Friday forced PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Cereus out of the U.S. market. The decision to block new U.S. signups was likely due to payment processing limitations created by the massive growth of Merge Gaming over a short period of time.
U.S. players that already had accounts at Merge Gaming were not affected by that decision. This policy lasted until October 2011 when Merge Gaming reopened its doors to new American players.
Merge Gaming Withdrawal Speeds Improved Over 2015
The decision to stop new U.S. players comes at a time when Merge Gaming cashouts are processed at the fastest speeds in nearly 18 months. Check withdrawal times exceeded three months during most of 2015. Checks are now delivered in about one month. Bitcoin withdrawals are available to many players. Those are processed in about two or three days.
Affiliate Payments Ending Soon
Merge Gaming closing to U.S. players is not the only recent news to come out of the network. The affiliate programs related to Merge Gaming skins will stop paying commissions to partners at the end of June. Merge Gaming affiliate programs have not accepted new player since May 2015. Affiliates were paid on existing players for more than a year after the program closed.