Thousands of US poker players waited in vain for clarification about the status of Full Tilt Poker’s questionable efforts to refund monies from player accounts. Last Sunday a message has been posted by a Full Tilt spokesperson on one of the internationally acclaimed poker forums. The rather insensitive post lectured players on the complexities of American gambling laws, telling players to be strong, that Full Tilt is prospering with European poker players.
The gist of Full Tilt’s message is: “FTP’s international business operations are returning to normal while we focus on ensuring the safe and orderly return of US player deposits. We are absolutely committed to making sure that US players are refunded as soon as possible. We apologize for the delay and the fact that we underestimated the time it would take to work through these issues. We will update our US players when we have more specific information to provide.”
But the question that was on everybody’s minds – ‘Where is my f’n money?’ was skillfully avoided. If Poker Stars, which is in the same boat as Full Tilt was able to ship back $100 million so far of US player deposits, why is Full Tilt holding on to the money.
The one factor that the people in charge of Full Tilt need to carefully consider is the makeup of their clientele. A large number of very serious people have money deposited on Full Tilt. These people forgot what the word ‘No’ even sounds like, and as the novelty of being told ‘No’ wears off, they may decide to punish someone for ‘taking the food out of my kids mouths.’
Meanwhile the American Gaming Association (AGA) has issued a White Paper on online gambling. AGA is the lobby group behind US land-based casinos, which was created, is financed and controlled by Las Vegas, Atlantic City and other major US casino conglomerates.
After the events of Black Friday AGA began pushing for licensing of online poker game so that its members could begin offering online poker sites in the USA now that the three foreign online poker giants are safely out of the picture. The White Paper advises Congress to come up with federal legislation to make online poker exempt from the UIGEA financial law.
AGA is pushing for a federal poker scheme with opt-out provisions for each individual state. The Association is lobbying for legislation dealing only with poker, while leaving casino table games and slots out of proposed legislation in order to protecting the main revenue source of its members.