The fallout from Black Friday in the US continues all across the world, and many players are becoming increasingly selective when it comes to choosing an online poker room. With Full Tilt Poker being accused of operating as a Ponzi scheme, players are starting to be more careful with where they put their money.
On Black Friday, the US Department of Justice indicted executives from Full Tilt, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker. Initially, the indictments caused outrage among players who were left without places to play when the sites were shut down. That rage turned away from the government and towards Full Tilt after the company failed to pay players the funds in their accounts at the time of the shutdown.
Since Black Friday, Full Tilt has faced several different legal obstacles. Players in Canada filed a class-action suit against the online poker company, and Full Tilt also was stripped of their gaming license in Alderney. The loss of the license has hurt Full Tilt the most, unable to operate their poker room and gain revenue that could be used to pay back players.
In the meantime, players have become cautious about where they deposit money. They have turned to publicly trade companies, where transparency is a must. European companies such as 888 Poker and Party Poker have become some of the sites that have picked up the customers left behind from the US fallout.
“It doesn’t make much sense for me to put money in these private companies any longer,” said Marc Hansen, an online player from Ontario, Canada. “They always paid me when I withdrew money, but the recent events involving Full Tilt have scared me, and I would rather be safe than sorry. I’m not going to get burned again.”
That sentiment is shared by not only other Canadians but also by US online poker players. The fall of Full Tilt has increased the pressure on US lawmakers to change the current laws in order to protect their citizens. Millions of people play poker online in the US, and the player is demanding that the federal government end prohibition of the game they all love.
In Canada, the safeguards have already started to be put in place. Several provinces have regulated online gambling in the past couple of years. The BC Lottery Corp. was the first to offer online casino gambling, and the model has been followed by Quebec and other provinces.
The poker world has been reeling with the announcement this week that the US government has added a Ponzi scheme charge to a civil suit against Full Tilt. Renowned attorneys have weighed in on the idea that the online poker company was operating as a Ponzi scheme, and the lawyers are split on whether the operation should be classified as that type of criminal offense.