Which online poker sites are staying, and which ones plan to leave the US market?

by Lou on October 2, 2006

Here’s what the sites are saying about whether they plan to stay in the US market or not, as of 4:00 PM Pacific Time today, 2 October 2006.

True Poker
Congress passed the UIGE Act of 2006, which covers deposits made by US players to certain types of sites. Our read is that Act covers only sites which offer Sports Betting or Casino type games where you bet against the Site itself.
TruePoker does NOT make or accept bets or wagers in which it has any stake in the outcome. So, our games and tournaments, and your deposits, are not covered by this UIGE Act of 2006.
TruePoker does not have a stake in the outcome of the games or tournaments we offer, in the US or anywhere else. (We do not offer casino games or sports betting, and so have no stake in the outcome and are not in the “business of betting or wagering”)

Party Poker
After taking extensive legal advice, the Board of PartyGaming Plc has concluded that the new legislation, if signed into law, will make it practically impossible to provide US residents with access to its real money poker and other real money gaming sites. As a result of this development, the Board of PartyGaming has determined that if the President signs the Act into law, the Company will suspend all real money gaming business with US residents, and such suspension will continue indefinitely, subject to clarification of the interpretation and enforcement of US law and the impact on financial institutions of this and other related legislation. Access to PartyGaming’s online gaming sites for the Group’s US free play customers will be unaffected. Access for all of PartyGaming’s non-US customers will also be unaffected.

The Group’s strategic focus remains on developing its existing markets outside of the US and on developing new markets and products. Should activities in the US be suspended, the Directors will also seek to re-align the Group’s cost base to accommodate the changed business environment. However, any such suspension would also result in the Group’s financial performance falling significantly short of consensus forecasts for 2006 and 2007.

Poker Stars
We have not made a decision one way or another as regards closing our American accounts.

CryptoLogic Inc. announced that effective immediately licensees of WagerLogic Limited, the company’s licensing subsidiary, will not take wagers from U.S.-based players. This is a result of new legislation expected to be signed today by President Bush that prohibits financial transaction processing in the U.S. online gaming market.

We have absolutely no plans whatsoever of dropping any players. In short, it will be business as usual. WSEX.com and all its sister companies are legal and licensed businesses regulated by the Gaming Commission of Antigua and Barbuda. We are wholly located in Antigua and do no business or run any part of our operation on US soil.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) has recognized the right of Antiguan companies to be in this business and has instructed the United States to stop trying to block US residents from playing at Antiguan operations.
Nothing in the bill criminalizes placing a bet or sending money to or receiving money from an offshore gambling business.

This bill still has to be passed by the executive branch of government before it is enacted into law.
Regardless of the outcome this time, the online gambling industry will continue to flourish and Bodog.com will remain at the front and center of this digital entertainment industry for years to come.

You should take comfort in knowing that Bodog.com is well situated to adapt to any change in the legislative environment.

Bodog.com considers online gambling to be legal under international law and complies with the laws within all of its jurisdictions where it carries out its operations.

Ultimate Bet
UltimateBet is not going away as a result of this legislation…The new law does not change the legality of playing online games. The law does not impact people who play games from their computers. Instead, the law focuses on the payment processing of unlawful Internet gaming.Our strong belief is that poker is a game of skill and therefore is not encompassed by this law. As set forth in the user agreement, we furnish a gaming environment, and participants are eligible to access this environment for their enjoyment where legal to do so. We do not undertake to assess the legality of play in any particular case as our users may access us from around the world.

Very quickly, as far as we are concerned our operations are 100% legal under international law and we follow all laws of the jurisdictions in which our operations reside. There will still be plenty of places to play poker and the industry will adapt, evolve and survive.

Absolute Poker
We want to assure you that Absolute Poker games are still available and that you can continue to enjoy the site as you always have. The new law does not change the legality of playing online games nor will make us close any US customer accounts. The law does not impact people who play games from their computers. Instead, the law focuses on the payment processing of unlawful Internet gaming and we can assure you that our operations are 100% legal.

Full Tilt
We are continuing to study this legislation and, until our investigation is complete, believe it would be wrong to comment on how these new rules will impact the ability for players to transfer funds to and from Full Tilt Poker.
In the short term, we assure you that your online experience at Full Tilt Poker will not change. You will still be able to deposit and withdraw money from the site using the same methods and payment processors you have always used, and your money will remain completely safe and secure. We cannot predict how the online poker experience may change in the future, but we do not expect any immediate impact from the legislation, as the banking industry has 270 days to implement new rules after the bill is signed.

Bugsy’s Club
We want you to know that we will continue doing business with our US customers. We are a legal and licensed business in the Netherlands Antilles and none of our operations are carried out on US soil. We have no intention of closing USA player accounts or restricting their ability to play on BugsysClub. The World Trade Organization ruling brought by Antigua and Barbuda has repeatedly instructed the United States to stop trying to block US residents from playing at such operations while the US simultaneously favors certain US operations (such as horse betting, lottery etc).

Boss Media
As the bill on banned Internet gambling payment processing services in the United States turns into formal law, Boss Media AB will immediately take action to block American players resident in the United States from accessing any such services and software provided by Boss Media.

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