A few months back, the Merge Poker Network decided to ban all new US player sign-ups, overwhelmed by the enormous numbers of poker fans looking to play at online poker sites in United States.
The Black Friday indictments by the US Justice Department also played a significant role in scaring the Merge Network into its previous decisions to stop all new applicants. For a short period of time, Merge has been one of very few places still open to American poker players.
The network commented that it had to stop accepting new players from USA as it needed to bump up its administrative capabilities before taking on new US action. Back then, it promised to reopen for business once again when that goal had been achieved. We don’t really buy the excuse they used unless ‘administrative capabilities’ is a euphemism for ‘scared of being indicted’, but true to their word, they have re-opened the doors and are now welcoming new USA money games poker accounts.
Now, among increasing speculations about a change in American gambling laws that will open up the online poker market in the country, the network is back. It took longer than was expected, and there were a couple of false alarms, but the fact remains: all poker sites sharing the Merge Network can now accept new US players.
Merge Poker hosts a long list of poker sites including Carbon Poker, a much respected poker destination for both amateurs and professionals. Not all US poker enthusiasts will be able to enjoy the action: New York, Washington, Louisiana, Maryland and Missouri states are excluded.
On a less positive note it was discovered that some members of the Merge Network are carrying eCOGRA seal without any authorization from the player protection and standards body.
eCOGRA CEO Andrew Beveridge was contacted to clarify the issue, and told United States gambling news that Merge Gaming Network was not reviewed for compliance with eCOGRA’s Certified Software Seal standards. He added that neither the network nor the individual sites should be displaying the seal.
Beveridge commented: “We will be insisting each of these entities immediately remove any reference of this nature from their websites, and to cease making claims relating to eCOGRA compliance on the forums.”