PokerStars, Full Tilt Pull Out of U.S. Market

PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker have pulled out of the U.S. market.

Friday, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney charged the principals of three of online poker's biggest sites with bank fraud, illegal gambling and laundering billions of dollars.

In all, 11 defendants were charged, including PokerStars' Isai Scheinberg, Fill Tilt Poker's Ray Bitar and Nelson Burtnick and Absolute Poker's Scott Tom.

The Internet domain names used by PokerStars, Full Tilt, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet were seized and now redirect to a message from the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI.

In response, PokerStars issued a statement through a pop-up on its poker client saying it has suspended real-money play in the United States.

"As you may have heard, we have had to suspend real money poker services to people based in the U.S. due to legal developments there," the statement reads.

"The developments are confined to the U.S. 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 U.S. it is business as usual."

The statement goes on to say the PokerStars website has been moved to and its support email address is now

Full Tilt Poker also released a statement saying it supports poker players and Bitar, the company's chief executive, but has been forced to pull out of the U.S. market.

"Full Tilt Poker is saddened by today’s charges against its CEO Raymond Bitar and offers its full support to Mr. Bitar and Nelson Burtnick," the statement reads.

"Online poker is a game of skill enjoyed by tens of millions of people in the United States and across the world. And, Full Tilt Poker remains as committed as ever to preserving the rights of those players to play the game they love online.

"Mr. Bitar and Full Tilt Poker believe online poker is legal – a position also taken by some of the best legal minds in the United States. Full Tilt Poker is, and has always been committed to preserving the integrity of the game and abiding by the law."

The statemet goes on to say Full Tilt Poker has decided to suspend real-money play in the United States until the case is resolved, but will continue to provide its services outside of the United States.

“I am surprised and disappointed by the government’s decision to bring these charges," said Mr. Bitar.

"I look forward to Mr. Burtnick’s and my exoneration.”

At press time, no public comments have been made by principals at Absolute Poker, Ultimate Bet or the Cereus Poker Network.

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Big AL 2011-04-30 15:50:32

Hi guys i,m in Europe and it came as a shock to all us poker players hope you get it all sorted asap cheers AL.

Jackmayhofer 2011-04-27 21:09:36

What about all the laws the banks have broken. Oh yeah we PAID THEM FOR THAT. Time to play hangman with the bankers.

Paul 2011-04-26 10:33:38

Hey Rogerio...I dont play freerolls & I do win and lose like everybody else. Im not going to lie on here and say I turned $1.10 on PokerStars into $30,000 in 4 years like you. Who are you trying to bullshit?...& if you dont like this country then leave. Oh it's "losing" not "loosing" dummy!!

john 2011-04-23 23:19:18

online poker is rigged! glad to see these basterds are getting sued!

rogerio 2011-04-20 11:31:20

Paul your a loosing idiot who shouldnt even be commenting on here just because you cant cash in a freeroll. I started with 5 bucks that was given to me on stars as freebie. All I had to do was play in a 1.10 dollar sitngo. I lost that but then grinded like a whore for about a year and managed to turn it into 2k. That was 4 years ago now and I have a roll over 30k that I now play exclusively as my main income. That was until this bullshit usa goverment woke up one morning and decided printing there own currency was not fun anymore and decided to close down online poker and freeze all the money that belonged to their own citizens. USA is repeatedly showing itself to be one of the most restricted countries in the world.. land of the free is total BS, and its a lie that has been brainwashed into usa citizens for too long.

Corupt PIGS 2011-04-19 19:50:17

Don't understand why your roll went from 17k to froze faster than I typed this shit!

Elli Davis 2011-04-19 14:47:31

What these companies were doing was illegal. It was against the law, and they got what they deserved. I am not happy about it, because I was an online poker player myself, but they knew what could happen.


acesacesaces 2011-04-18 22:18:08

Craig and Paul,

That's the dumbest and most misleading thing I've ever heard. Online poker is a) not rigged b) not money laundering. Banking laws that these three sites may have broken shouldn't call online poker as a whole into question.

craig 2011-04-18 20:32:38

Paul, its not even an argument any more, everybody knows online poker is bs. Fraud, money laundering, game rigging, this finally proves it.

fatfck 2011-04-18 04:46:54

paul you're a moron

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