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Showing posts with label Cereus Network. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cereus Network. Show all posts

Monday, June 20, 2011

Online Poker to be Legalized by Tuesday! Obama Defies Gravity and Becomes Defacto Protector of Sector 2814

if there isn’t any real news we can make it up as good as everyone else!

barack-obama-green-lanternStill nothing much is actually NEW.  The excitement out on the street is that the bill co-sponsored by Texas representative Joe Barton could arrive as early as the end of this week, which the various news blogs and so on have morphed to “WILL ARRIVE THIS WEEK AND INSTANTLY REGULATE ONLINE POKER” which is not going to happen.  The fact of the matter is that the Nevada land casinos are already hard at work (don’t worry how I KNOW THAT land casinos, get back to it) on putting together the regulation infrastructure necessary for handle online poker.  If they work REALLY fast the soonest that’s going to happen is early 2012 so it really doesn’t matter much how fast the Federal legalization comes as long as it happens near the time Nevada casinos are ready to cash in on it.

Here’s the actual rundown so much as I know (and I’ve had my ear to many a door as of late):

Full Tilt Still Has Not Paid US Players: In fact, they haven’t even credited the accounts of most US players with the funds that they will eventually be paid.  An article on Subject: Poker on June 16th talks about a 60 million dollar shortfall they created by essentially giving players “loans” when the players deposited money on the site but Full Tilt didn’t have a payment processor to debit their accounts.  Since Black Friday this has sort of sealed the loss for Full Tilt and may be part of the accounting difficulties they are experiencing which of course are in addition that they just plain don’t have the money to pay US players.

The Joe Barton Poker Bill: He’s drafting it and they keep quoting him as saying online poker’s been legal but the bank funding has not, which is incorrect.  The DoJ clearly thinks that online poker is illegal (regardless of the truth) and the funding woes of all online poker sites trying to service the United States are due to the UIGEA which only applies if online poker is illegal.  So basically the DoJ is the bully which is saying they think it’s [online poker] illegal and if you’d like to try your luck funding it you might just disappear in a bleeping hole.  Obviously none of the other crimes like providing bank executive bonuses, funding player accounts with golf balls or providing hot oil massages to bank employees would be necessary at all if the banks weren’t 100% convinced by the DoJ that online poker is 100% illegal and therefore under the enforcement of the UIGEA in the first place.

Phew!  Having said that, online poker is actually legal, just no one wants to risk their life or freedom to prove that especially when state and federal bills which will effectively legalize the industry are so close.

UB.com and AbsolutePoker (Cereus Network) Payouts:  Honestly I think we’re all going to probably have to give up on this one.  The amount of business they are doing post Black Friday just isn’t going to be sufficient to generate money to pay back the US customers they owe.  Take a trip over to Poker Scout and check it out for yourself.  Maybe in the long run this is the best thing.  Cereus made some horrible decisions and they still refused to fix their infrastructure including customer support and fraud prevention.  I’m not saying they were actively cheating anyone in 2011, but they weren’t doing as much as they should have to be responsive to customers and to protecting their online interests.  Full Tilt Poker is also guilty of many of these issues especially with regard to poor customer service.  I sincerely hope that the next wave of online poker uses PokerStars as a model.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What’s New in Online Poker?

Legally speaking not much, but what news there is isn’t good news

subject-poker-logoFirst off, a big shout out to the people at Subject: Poker.  This is a new poker news source website and they are definitely going the extra mile to ask the hard questions and actually check their facts.  In fact all of the new interesting news is being broken by them and every other poker and/or gambling website is rehashing old news (like a police department getting part of the seized funds from the 2nd online poker raid that hit DoylesRoom and TruePoker.

So what is going on?

  1. Cereus is 50-60 million in the hole (to players both US and offshore and other debts) and has about 10% of that in cash.  Is this bad?  Not if you hate money.
  2. Subject: Poker did an interview with John Pappas of the PPA in two parts.  You can read Part 1 and Part 2 on their website and they are definitely worth reading.  The reporter—Noah Stephens-Davidowitz (I believe that’s a Native American name) kept asking the extra question to get John Pappas out of the comfort zone.  I both found out some terrifying things about the PPA and also found some new respect for them and for John Pappas through this interview.
  3. Nothing.  Full Tilt is still not paying US customers.  Cereus is still not talking to anyone.  Nevada is still primed to take over organized crime licensing and regulating online poker as soon as a federal law is in place.  I will keep you posted when something interesting happens!

Friday, May 20, 2011

PPA Continues “Glue Sniffing” Approach to Protecting Poker Players Rights.

Today I received (as I’m sure most people reading this blog have) a new email message from the Poker Players Alliance.  In it they say:

ppa_logoWe are now more than one month past Black Friday and there are still many concerns among poker players. Chief among those is the return of player funds. As recently as this week the PPA has communicated with Full Tilt Poker and shared with them player concerns about payouts. [ed. Seriously?  You shared with them that poker players have concerns about not receiving money from them?  You think they didn’t KNOW that?]

As the organization representing the interest of the players, we have shared with Full Tilt Poker the frustration of the players and have urged Full Tilt Poker to fulfill their promises to allow U.S. players to cash out their account balances. We are very encouraged by our communications with them. It is clear that progress is being made and that Full Tilt Poker remains committed to playing players as soon as possible. This is a top priority and we are confident that they are working toward a solution to return player funds.  [ed. Besides “talking to them” what else are you doing?  What specifically have you said to them and what specifically have they replied?  Talking to them is 100% meaningless they already have huge pressure from the players themselves and the international community to pay the money to US players—Is your talking doing ANYTHING?  No!]

It is important to note that Full Tilt Poker has always paid out their players even in the face of similar legal obstacles or factors not in their control, such as payment processor defaults and prior actions by the US government to seize US players' funds. The PPA will continue to communicate with Full Tilt Poker until the matter is resolved. [ed. OBVIOUSLY this situation is FAR different than previous processor fund grabs from the DoJ both in scope and in them going after the founders of the big three online poker rooms directly.  Previous money grabs didn’t force them out of the US market but THIS ONE DID which is a HUGE AND ONGOING financial hit]

The  PPA similarly calls on Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet to fulfill their  promises to allow U.S. players to cash out their account balances.  The  PPA will initiate a dialogue with Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet to  convey to them the frustration of our membership. [ed. Again do you think they don’t know that poker players with Cereus balances are frustrated and/or worried?  A far bigger deal to both Full Tilt and Cereus is that if they default on their responsibility to pay US players then they will lose their international players because, after all, who is going to put their money in a cardroom that doesn’t pay?  Large scale welching will never be tolerated.]

Friday, May 13, 2011

“The Motley Fool” Argues for an End to Online Poker Shutdowns

motley_foolA few weeks ago, I questioned the FBI's decision to shut down a handful of online poker websites. The FBI correctly interpreted the law -- but that law didn't make any sense. Why ban online gambling when its negative effects are demonstrably less harmful than other perfectly legal evils such as obesity, smoking, or medical bills?

More importantly, this debate is about which businesses should and shouldn't be regulated. I believe that things need regulation when they can cause widespread collateral damage on innocent bystanders. Most courts have taken that test a step further, judging the legality of a game based on whether it relies on skill or luck. Skill is good. It's capitalism. Luck is bad. It ruins people -- or so the thought goes. The current ban on online poker rests largely on this skill-vs.-luck premise.

A new paper by Thomas Miles and Steven Levitt (the latter of Freakonomics fame) challenges it. The two economists used data from the 32,000 players who participated in last year's World Series of Poker to show, convincingly, that successful poker players are indeed skillful folks.

Read the rest of the story @ the Motley Fool

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cereus Makes Deal with DoJ Moving Toward Returning US Player’s Funds.

 

The Associated Press reported that a deal has been struck between Absolute Poker (actually the Cereus Network including both AP and UB.com) and the US Department of Justice.

An online poker company facing severe legal troubles says it has made a deal with the Department of Justice toward repaying deposits from players.

Absolute says its agreement says it can work with third-party payment processors to facilitate return of the funds. It says it plans to collect the funds from the processors, then establish proper ways to repay the players.

Unlike Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker they will not be regaining their original domain names (UB.com and AbsolutePoker.com) as part of their deal with the DoJ and will continue to use their new domains.