Several leading online poker rooms have supplied statements to PokerListings.com regarding the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) that was passed in the U.S. Congress Sept. 30, and how it will affect their U.S. customers.
Editor's Note: Please be advised that all references to "the legislation," "the law," and "the Act" in the subsequent quotes refer to the UIGEA.
*This article will be continuously updated as more statements are made available. New statements will be marked with stars.
Absolute Poker: Open to U.S. players
"As the 4th largest online poker company we continue to welcome all poker players. Absolute Poker is absolutely confident in its ability to continue to offer U.S. customers the very best in online poker with the fastest secure deposit and payout solutions."
Bet365poker: No U.S. players allowed
"Following the passing of the Safe Port Act, bet365 have decided to no longer accept customers who are resident in the United States of America.
"Over 96% of bet365's business is from customers outside of the U.S. and, as such, the decision will not have a material impact on the group's financial performance or continued growth.
"However, bet365 regret any inconvenience that this decision may cause and strongly retain the view that proper regulation rather than prohibition is the right way forward in respect of the gambling industry."
Betfred Poker: No U.S. players allowed
"As of today Betfred have stopped taking business from U.S. customers in the wake of recent prohibitive legislation by the U.S. government. To clarify, this means that U.S. residents and/or U.S. citizens will not be able to use Betfred at all for telephone betting, online sports betting, casino, or poker."
CelebPoker: No U.S. players allowed
"We regret to inform you that as a result of legislation regarding internet gambling in the U.S., from Oct. 12, 2006, at 23:00 GMT, we will not be allowed to process U.S. transactions. In light of this we urge all our U.S. players to withdrawal all funds from their accounts as soon as possible.
"This decision has been made by the network, Boss Media's general counsel. We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience this causes, and would like to wish all our U.S. players the very best."
Editor's Note: Please see here for Boss Media's press release regarding this issue. All bolded text in CelebPoker's statement was highlighted by that poker room.
InterPoker.com: No U.S. players allowed
"Due to the imminent passing of the Federal Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act on Sept. 30, 2006, we are no longer accepting wagers from residents in the United States.
"We regret to inform you that from 11 a.m. EST on Oct. 3, 2006, we will be closing all U.S. gaming accounts. Player's balances, minus un-cleared bonuses, will be returned to players within the next 3-4 weeks by check."
Mansion Poker: Open to U.S. Players
"U.S. Congress has passed the SAFE Ports Act, which if signed by the U.S. President George W. Bush, contains provisions that would further restrict payment transactions to online gaming sites from US residents.
"The affect of the legislation at this time remains unclear. Mansion continues to closely monitor developments of the proposed amendments to U.S. legislation, and we are actively seeking the best legal advice to remain fully informed of the new legal environment.
"We are committed to ensuring our members are well informed, should any of the proposed regulations have an impact on the conduct of our business and the availability of our products and services."
"We wish to reassure our members that at this time, Mansion continues to trade normally and we remain committed to delivering the quality and standard of service that they have come to expect from us."
Pacific Poker: No U.S. players allowed
Pacific Poker is referring all inquiries to an Oct. 2 statement released by its parent company, 888 Holdings, Plc. Please see here to read the firm's official position.
**Paradise Poker: No U.S. players allowed
Paradise Poker owner, Sportingbet, Plc. has announced it will no longer be taking bets from U.S. players after having sold a majority of its U.S.-facing online gambling businesses for $1. The firm will retain ownership of Paradise Poker. A portion of the full statement is reprinted below:
"Sportingbet will retain the Paradise Poker business, but will, with effect from 11.00am U.K. time, Oct. 13, 2006, cease taking deposits from U.S. resident customers.
"To allow for an orderly wind down of the U.S. Paradise business, Paradise Poker will remain open for US customers for real money poker play utilizing their existing account balances for one month.
"At the end of the month long period, U.S. residents will be prevented from playing real money poker at Paradise. In addition, the Board has taken immediate steps to prevent customers from ten U.S. States where there is law prohibiting Internet gambling from playing real money poker at Paradise Poker.
"The Group will continue to market Paradise Poker in Canada, Europe and other relevant markets whilst maintaining its "dot net" free to play site for all customers."
Editor's Note: Please see here for further details on the sale.
PokerHost.com: Open to U.S. players
"The official position of our company is that we will continue running business as usual."
Poker Ocean: No U.S. players allowed
The following statement was issued to PokerListings.com by Casino Partners, the company that operates Poker Ocean.
"Due to the imminent passing of the Federal Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act by the United States Senate on Sept. 30, 2006, and in line with the high level of service that we have always provided to our affiliates, it is important for us to advise you that our clients have decided not to accept wagers from residents in the United States. We will therefore stop handling U.S.-based traffic effective October 4, 2006."
PokerPlex.com: No U.S. players allowed
"Due to the recent 'Safe Port Act,' we have disabled all current U.S.-based players and will not be allowing any new real money accounts to be opened. We will keep a close eye on developments and act accordingly."
PokerStars.com: Open to U.S. players
"PokerStars has received extensive expert advice from within and outside the U.S. which concluded that these provisions do not alter the U.S. legal situation with respect to our offering of online poker games.
"Therefore, our business continues as before - open to players worldwide including the US. You may play on our site as you did prior to the Act.
"PokerStars believes that poker is a game of skill enjoyed by millions of players and we remain committed to providing you a safe and fun environment in which to play. We value your loyalty to PokerStars, and look forward to continuing to serve you with the best online poker experience, as we have for the past five years, six billion hands, and 40 million tournaments."
Titan Poker: No U.S. players allowed
"Due to the recent passing of the Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act by the United States Senate on September 30, 2006, and its imminent enactment as federal law, we will no longer allow real money gaming activities from United States residents."
VIP Poker: Open to U.S. players
"The company acknowledges the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Bill which was passed on Sept. 30 by the U.S. Congress. The company is monitoring the situation closely and is continuing to take legal advice on any impact this may have on its business.
"The company continues to operate its business in the usual course and will update shareholders as and when appropriate."