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Poker News: October 25, 2006

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Copyright © 2006 Online Casinos

HEADLINE: Poker Opts Out of U.S. Business

One of the largest online poker sites calls it a day in America

The Ongame owned and powered Poker site is to close its virtual doors to American poker players with effect from November 6 according to an announcement this week. Industry observers have been expecting the announcement as Ongame was acquired earlier this year by Austrian public company Bwin, which has already announced its withdrawal from the US market.

In a company statement, Poker Room says that in response to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act, it has decided to stop accepting new U.S. poker player accounts on October 25, and on November 6, it will no longer accept bets from current US customers.

"We regret that the U.S. has taken this step to make it virtually impossible to offer real money entertainment to U.S. customers. It is doubtful that the U.S. authorities will achieve their stated goals by introducing such legislation. We believe that a properly monitored forward-looking regulation would be much more effective than this general ban," the statement comments.

"Entirely due to this new law, we are disappointed to announce the following restrictions for all customers within the U.S.:

Depositing Restrictions

We have been working on a technical solution to restrict all customers within the U.S. from depositing new funds at This solution will be implemented on October 25th.

"Real Money Restrictions
We will have implemented the technical solution to restrict all customers within the U.S. from accessing our real money games starting Monday, November 6th. After that time you will still be able to login to, enjoy all of our play money games and withdraw funds from your account at your convenience.

Your funds will continue to be safe, secure and yours, and will be transferred to you at your request. The option to cash-out will remain available to you.

Unused Tournament Tickets
Valid tournament tickets are as good as cash and will be refunded to your account once the U.S. restrictions are implemented on November 6th. It may take some days for all tickets to be processed into cash, and only valid tickets (not expired) at the time of the U.S. restriction will be refunded.

Player Points / Loyalty Points
Player points and loyalty points will be inaccessible to all U.S. customers once the changes go live; but this does not mean that your points will expire. Your hard earned points will be stored indefinitely, in the event of real money play becoming available again. Until the U.S. restrictions are in place on November 6th you are free to use your points in our loyalty program.

Pending Bonuses
Pending bonus tasks will be void after the U.S. restrictions come into effect on November 6th, as it will not be possible to collect player points via our real money games. Until the Real Money restriction is in place you can continue to collect points to clear bonuses in your account."

The statement ends on a note of regret: "At, we are of course very sorry for this development and we hope that we get the chance to meet all our U.S. poker players again in real money poker games, as we are aiming to offer these as soon as the legislation allows us to. We will do our utmost to continuously keep you up to date with future developments."

The statement is primarily intended to keep players informed and does not deal with the business aspects such as the cost to the company of the decision to block its many US players. Those numbers will surface later in business communications.

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Article downloaded from the World Wide Web on Oct 24, 2006:

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