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Showing posts with label Subject: Poker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Subject: Poker. 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!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Full Tilt Insists an Account that would cover 1/3 of Player Funds Owed has been Unfrozen.

It’s on again, it’s off again, doj says no accounts are unfrozen, but full tilt says this wasn’t an account frozen by the doj just one that sort of froze itself

hair pulling womanI wrote about this a few days ago in another blog post about Ray Bitar’s account being unfrozen where many news and blog sources reported that an account was unfrozen that covered a third of the $150 million dollars owed to US players since the April 15th, 2011 Department of Justice action (codename Black Mamba).

The new poker news source Subject: Poker revealed that they contacted the Department of Justice and that they said that no accounts frozen during the April 15th action have been unfrozen and that if and when any accounts were unfrozen there would be a press release.

But NOW it seems that Full Tilt is saying that this hefty account wasn’t actually frozen by the DoJ, but that it was frozen by their bank.  EGamingReview reported that “…a company source told this publication the account in question is not one of those named in the original indictment, but a separate corporate account held with the Bank of Ireland.”

No official sources, including the DoJ will confirm or deny that this is true, although if true the DoJ wouldn’t be involved so having no knowledge would be expected.

When originally reported the addition of those 50-60 million dollars to Full Tilt’s coffers gave many US players hope that they would be paid very soon.  That hope was dashed when Full Tilt released it’s May 30th update which sent many players on a tail-spin when the found out that player funds were not segregated, etc..

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Subject: Poker Reports That the Cake is a Lie! (And Ray Bitar Didn’t Get His Account Unfrozen)

doj_largeAround the 27th of May reports that the Department of Justice had unfrozen one of Ray Bitar’s accounts worth around 60 million.  This money would presumable be used to pay back the 150 million dollars owed to US players from Full Tilt.  However it appears that the DoJ did not unfreeze the account (as reported today by Subject: Poker):

 

 

 

The Public Information Office of the US Attorney's Office has informed Subject: Poker that NO deal has been struck with Full Tilt Poker to release or unfreeze any funds. eGaming Review Magazine reported Friday that an Irish bank account containing "more than a third of the US$100m to $150m still owed to US players" had been released to FTP. They cited an unnamed FTP source as having provided the information. The false story was widely reported on other gaming news sites, on social media, and on various poker forums. The rumor also lead to widespread speculation that Full Tilt's Monday announcement would include a timeline for the return of US player funds. It did not. The USAO representative made clear that funds had not been released and that any such action...

Subject: Poker

The other possibility is that one part of the DoJ is not talking to the other part of the DoJ.  The idea that they release a press release whenever they unfreeze a bank account sounds ridiculous on its face so another day or so will reveal the truth here.  In the mean time enjoy the chaos brought to you by the United States Department of Justice (Motto: we do what we must because we can?)