$30 Million Poker Winnings Frozen

This week it emerged that $30 million of poker player’s funds has been frozen by the Federal Government. This has affected thousands of US player’s wanting to cash out from sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, something already harder to achieve since the UIGEA bullshit. What surprises me most is that PokerStars and Full Tilt don’t use multiple backup payment processors, and spread the load around a bit more. Maybe they do have alternatives, but they’ve been hit by this to the tune of 30 big ones, which has gotta hurt.

At this time it seems the online poker rooms are covering the money, so don’t worry poker players! Let’s not be scared by this act of aggression, though it’s not a good sign for the future. Just remember that online poker is not illegal, even if we’re made to think it’s a crime by people who want to suppress our freedoms. Let’s just hope that Barney Frank’s regulation bill gets somewhere, which seems unlikely (even if Obama likes poker).

Today I got an interesting email from Party Poker today, which read:

You may have seen the news about the freezing of payment processor funds in the United States and its effect on certain competitor online operators. PartyGaming Plc, the parent company of PartyPartners, withdrew immediately from the United States following the change in the law that took place back in October 2006. As a result, we are completely unaffected by these recent events in the US and your account with us will not be subject to any payment issues or lost revenue streams.

I guess you can’t blame them for this mailer, but it’s a bit of a cheap shot. If they weren’t listed on the London Stock Exchange then you could bet your house that they still be in the US market. Let’s not forget how much money Party Poker made in the days when they accepted US players, and how their share price and player numbers has plummeted since their withdrawal. But yeah, if you can play at Party then they are “completely unaffected by these recent events” – go figure!

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