European Poker Exploit Black Friday

Internet Casinos in Europe Welcome US Poker Players

Just 72 hours after the indictment of eleven senior executives and the owners of three of the United States most prominent internet poker sites, many European-based internet casinos are now racing to introduce poker sites in the hope of attracting U.S-based players.

In view of the fact the U.S Attorney’s Office levied charges against Isai Scheinberg the founder of PokerStars on Friday, Full Tilt’s Ray Bitar and nine other members for suspected fraud, money laundering and unlawful gambling. The player base on many rivals’ sites has gone up exponentially.

Pokerscout recently reported that the three affected poker sites experienced a significant drop in their traffic, whereas Full Tilt’s traffic dropped by a staggering 48% this week alone. On the contrary PKR’s traffic increased by 21% (for a non-U.S site the best), PartyPoker experienced a 9% increase, a 5% increase for 888Poker and iPoker network’s poker figures also increased by 4%. A significant number of poker sites not taking players from the United States have started promotions to attract U.S players looking to deposit on sites apart from Full Tilt, PokerStars and the Cereus, the two-site network that owns Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, both form part of Friday’s indictment.

Unibet has also jumped on the bandwagon and will host its first ever €500,000 guarantee tournament, whereas ChiliPoker which runs on the iPoker network countered by introducing internet poker’s “Black Friday” with its very own “Purple Day” promotion. It will feature a 200% sign-up bonus. A European-based affiliate, who wants to remain anonymous told Cassaon-casino: “My inbox is crammed with messages from 888 doubling its prize-pools and Titan Poker offering me as much as 60% revenue shares and stated if you are a PokerStars player you can send them a screenshot of your VIP status then you get the same level of loyalty there”.

“To be honest this e-mail took me by surprise (from Titan Casino), since it stands to reason that PokerStars and Full Tilt did not take the rules of the game into account, hopefully this dramatic turn of events will stand the affiliate network in good stead.” He continued and recommended from a player’s perspective, a more relaxed attitude towards cash locked-up on the larger U.S-facing sites might just start to garner rewards. “The majority of players are still under the impression that playing on sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt is like playing Zynga poker since no one is truly aware of the chips value,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer of power affiliate’s, Dominik Kofert is guardedly optimistic about the ramifications Friday’s news has on the internet poker industry outside the United States. “Ironically enough many people used to say that in comparison to some banks and payment providers it was safest to keep one’s cash in Stars and Tilt.” His site refuses to take American players and runs IP blocks. Providing PokerStars and Full Tilt are permitted to offer their service to non-U.S-facing sites, he anticipates a “mini-boom” outside the American market.

“Many European sites started new poker promotions and there’s a strong possibility that PokerStars will soon follow suit, he said. “These sites will gain more traffic and won’t accept U.S-based players, PokerStars and Full Tilt will divert invest more in advertising campaigns directed towards your European markets.”

He continued and said it is top-priority that he must ensure that his players’ cash accounts are secure, since a large proportion can’t withdraw their cash from PokerStars and Full Tilt. “Every business transaction is based on trust and this issue needs to be solved quickly”. However, whilst European based internet casinos are trying to reap as many U.S players as possible which deserted the ‘big three’ in America, stateside competitors are sending out mixed messages.

Pokerscout’s rankings indicated that Bodog experienced a 26% seven day rise in its player numbers as a result of Friday’s indictments. Conversely, Victory Poker, one of Cakes’ top skins decided to abandon its U.S focus. Yesterday its CEO Dan Fleyshman tweeted: “I requested that the Cake Network must not accept U.S-based players from the Victory Poker site.”



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