ATTAN U. S. ATTORNEY CHARGES PRINCIPALS OF THREE LARGEST INTERNET POKER COMPANIES WITH BANK FRAUD, ILLEGAL GAMBLING OFFENSES AND LAUNDERING BILLIONS IN ILLEGAL GAMBLING PROCEEDS.
On Friday, the founds of online poker's "Big Three" was indicted by federal authorities. The founders of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker were indicted on charges of bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling. In addition more than 75 bank accounts used by the online poker companies (and payment processors) and 5 domain names was seized (restraining oders issued).
The allegations revolves around the companies trying to circumvent federal laws by tricking U. S. banks into processing payments after UIGEA was passed.
As of now both PokerStars & Full Tilt Poker has shut down real money play for U. S. Players. Players from other countries can however play as normal. PokerStars.com now redirects to PokerStars.eu.
PokerStars has issued the following statement (via pop-up in client):
"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 developments are confined to the US and do not have any impact on your ability to continue using 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 e-mail address is now email@example.com. We apologize to our players for any inconvenience caused by this disruption. Please be aware that we are currently experiencing a very high volume of e-mails, so response times are delayed. We will answer player e-mails as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter."
Full Tilt Poker wrote in parts of their 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."
We at BRM will try and keep you updated during the day as events unfold.
Justice dept. official press release: http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/April11/scheinbergtalindictmentpr.pdf
U. S. players can as of now still avail our PlayersOnly & Bodog - no deposit offers.
Moneybookers NOT affected (UPDATED 16/4-2011 17.31 GMT):
Official statement from MoneyBookers stated the following:
"Moneybookers is not part of this investigation and have not been approached by any authority. As a general principle we never process transactions for online gambling purposes including poker for US citizens."
Onyx Cup - cancelled (UPDATED 16/4-2011 19.19 GMT):
According to Poker News a spokesperson from Full Tilt Poker has confirmed, that in light of recent events, the Onyx Cup poker series has been cancelled.