In the last two weeks the climate for online poker has changed dramatically. Over $30 million in funds have been frozen by the US Attorney’s Office. During the first few days the situation was relatively quiet and only noted by reports that checks issued from PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker had bounced. Eventually rumor turned to fact and organizations like the PPA and iMEGA acted swiftly while reactions throughout the industry provoked debate.
PokerNewsDaily.com has gathered comments from various sources ranging from several top sites’ public relations departments to some of the top players from around the Internet.
The first comment that came in was from Bodog, who has had problems in the past with cashouts; however, in the past 12 months Bodog has turned around its image as one of the best and most reliable places to cashout from. Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, the parent organization for Bodog, gave an official comment coming directly from CEO Alwyn Morris saying:
Bodog has not been experiencing any difficulties with checks being returned or bouncing, and we have no plans to remove checks as a payout option. Players have been able to withdraw funds from their accounts using all of our normal payout methods without incident. We have put a number of processes and partnerships in place to ensure our players are able to safely and securely withdraw funds from their accounts as quickly and easily as possible.
At the Cake Poker Network, which accepts players from the United States, there has been no disruption of business so far. The Cake Poker Network has dozens of skins including the popular Doyle’s Room which is endorsed by poker legend Doyle Brunson. A spokesperson for the Cake Poker Network responded to our requests saying:
It’s business as usual for us, as we’re not exposed to any of the eCheck and bounced check problems that other rooms are having at the moment.
Unfortunately, internet poker giant PokerStars has been eerily quiet during this entire process. Their press liaison didn’t have much to say when asked for an official comment regarding customer concerns:
PokerStars has not made any comments on this matter thus far. I don’t have any more information for you I’m afraid.
PokerStars Press Officer
While there is no official comment from PokerStars, there is word from the 2nd largest poker room on the internet, as a Full Tilt Poker Spokesperson told us:
In light of recent events involving the freezing of certain accounts, Full Tilt Poker would like to assure all players that their funds remain safe and secure. All players who were affected by the current situation have had their funds returned to their accounts.
Full Tilt Poker remains committed to the protection of our players’ security and legal rights, and will continue to provide the best and safest online poker room available worldwide.
Comments from players ranged from disappointment to pure satire.
Jon Wein: “It’s not good for the recreational player.”
Alex “Kadabra” Keating: “Of course I care about it, it’s $30 million dollars out of the poker world. More importantly, it’s $30 million dollars out of the American poker world.”
Anthony “d1rtyr1v3r” Nardi: “I’m kinda scared because I just bought a house and, you know, I’m an online grinder more than a live grinder so I’ll have to turn into a live grinder obviously if they outlaw online poker in the US.”
Devin “tranquilchaos” Porter: “What’s a cashout?”
The PPA (Poker Players Alliance) has been extremely active in recent days following an official statement that their team, along with the powerful legal arm of iMEGA, is taking this as seriously as any event in the history of online gaming. Poker players are highly encouraged, if they wish to support their efforts, to join or make a donation to the PPA and follow their directions for emailing local government officials about your opinions with recent legal events.