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PokerStars Site Shuts Down

April 16th, 2011 Author:

PokerStars Site Shut DownHave you visited pokerstars.com recently, only to find an FBI warning in place of poker content? Have you logged into the PokerStars client, only to find that you can’t sit down at real money tables?

If so, you’re not alone. The Pokerstars.com website was shut down yesterday by the FBI and the company announced that they would no longer accept US players. It’s not the end of the world. There are other US friendly poker sites available if your looking for a new home.You can visit this page here for a complete list of US poker sites not effected by yesterday’s shut down of PokerStars.com.

Why is the PokerStars Site Shut Down?

Long story short, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has seized the pokerstars.com domain. Hence why you may have seen the FBI logo, along with anofficial warning, in place of the actual PokerStars website.

Why? Because the FBI is taking the owners of PokerStars — along with the owners of Full Tilt and Absolute Poker — to court. The US Attorney in Manhattan alleges that 11 defendants, including the owners of PokerStars, have violated wire fraud and money laundering laws in order to accept gambling payments from US citizens.

The FBI alleges that the defendants (including the owners of PokerStars) set up shell corporations to trick legitimate banks into accepting illegal gambling payments. It is also alleged that the defendants have attempted to ‘buy’ fledgling local banks — i.e. bribe the banks’ executives — so as to allow American players to deposit and withdraw from gambling sites.

Whether or not these charges will hold up, we don’t know. But given the severity of the issue, PokerStars stopped accepting USA players.  Hence why pokerstars.com is, for most of us, inaccessible.

Can US Players Deposit at PokerStars?

US players cannot deposit at PokerStars. As part of the FBI investigation, over 75 “payment processors” in the US were shut down. All bank accounts tied to these payment processors have been frozen. The effect of this is that processing payments to PokerStars from American players is very difficult.

Can US Players Play Real Money Poker at PokerStars?

US players can no longer play real money poker games at PokerStars.com. Again, the charges being brought against the owners of the site are pretty serious; so PokerStars isn’t kidding around when it says No American Players.

If you try to sit in at a table, you’ll be prevented from playing by a popup box. This popup will say something to the effect of “sorry, you can’t play because of government restrictions.” It’s literally game-over for American players at PokerStars, at least for now.

Can US Players Withdraw From Pokerstars.com?

If you’ve already got a funded account at PokerStars, you’ll have a tough time withdrawing right now. The FBI has control of many payment processors PokerStars previously used to process withdrawals to Americans. Thus, PokerStars now has fewer ways to process payments in America. It follows that withdrawing may be a bit difficult.

Some players have reported that wire transfers are going through just fine. Other players are reporting being locked out of the cashier window entirely. Getting money onto and off of PokerStars will not be easy for some time to come.

Note that there’s little use in rushing to PokerStars and withdrawing your bankroll right now. Even if Stars approves your withdrawal, it is possible that your funds will get stuck at the payment processing level — and end up confiscated. It’s a gamble either way — keep your cash on the site and wait for this to blow over, or take a chance with payment processors that might be owned by the FBI. Take your pick.

Is This the End of the World?

No! PokerStars is one site out of many that serviced American players. There are still many left. All this situation means is that you’ll have to pick up your bankroll and move elsewhere.

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54 Comments  
Comments
16th April 2011
STEFAN

I like the fact that Americans promote freedom and democracy worlwide. They ask the Chinese government to give their people free access to the internet…what they do at home is a different matter. Am I glad I am not an American !

16th April 2011
Boing

US always cries for free trade, as long as benefits them. I think, that Vegas mob has infiltrated FBI.

16th April 2011
james

Obama get rid of him

16th April 2011
m.c

Amen to that Stefan. America is not land of the free. It is land of control

16th April 2011
Labradoria

transfer me your money don’t let the government take it

16th April 2011
david mobbs

its about time these robbing cheating poker sites got what they deserve its not real poker its a rip off

16th April 2011
sally

guess u never won david ……..no prob with people i know

16th April 2011
arivenb

I’m an American and I will say I’m getting fed up with my own government. They shut down gambling sites and make gambling illegal but then let states run their own lotteries which allow people to gamble their funds away, whats the difference. The difference is the government makes all the profit off of the lottery sites as opposed to just taking taxes if private gambling was legal. Lets not even go into the imperialistic nature of our country, from its birth, and the facade that we roll out to farmer Joe to convince him he is in the best country on earth.

16th April 2011
ItsVegas

The root of all this, like most things in life, is the almight $. Namely, whose getting it and who isn’t. The Vegas casinos are in the crapper, the government is in debt up to its eyeballs -> and both see getting what they deem to be “their fair cut” of the internet gambling as a solution to some of their problems.

Thus a marriage is borne a marriage from hell between the federal politicians on the Vegas payroll and the Feds.

Several have written the end game in all this is to have the Vegas casino’s setup and control internal US sites for US players (and anyone else who is willing to submit to federal tax laws and fork over a cut). With the federal govenment now therefoer able to gets its “rake” on ALL the proceedings, not just via US resident \ player income taxes.

17th April 2011
Kman

Sad day for online poker. Many people enjoy playing online poker for fun. People who dont play online poker have no idea how much we enjoy it. I work all day and if i want to use my hard earned money on any online poker site i should be able to!

17th April 2011
Lee

what happened to the days when I was proud to be an American?………now days I’m embarrassed :(

17th April 2011
Annie

It’s my hard earned money…..why can’t I do what I want with it? Quick 10 dollar game Wednesday night and another Saturday afternoon…..who’s that hurting? Legalize the damn thing and be done with it.

17th April 2011
Carlos

The USA government are angry that some people make money and they don’t get any money from taxes, in short time will shut down all the betting sites or other online methods to make money were they can’t tax you

17th April 2011
dee

super b.s……………what about my on line cash….this money is already taxed..it is mine to do what i please

18th April 2011
TrueKiwi

LOL glad I live in a country that respects freedom – New Zealand.

George Orwell was right on (America land of the free!!)

18th April 2011
MR.X50

America the world worst terrorist. I hope they learn their lesson. Their economy is spirraling down the toilet where they belong boo hoo
Malcolm from Canada

18th April 2011
Anonymous

canada wouldnt be shit without the u.s.

19th April 2011
JF

Shut it down is one thing not letting us get our money out thats another. Who stealing rights for who now. I could do with out all the dam polictics in the country. Hmm Brazill dosnt look bad??

19th April 2011
oli

the US government is jealous coz players don’t go to casinos to play poker anymore.They can gamble at home and tend to their wives’ need at the same time…

21st April 2011
Anonymous

freedom what a joke

21st April 2011
connor

so how come this has suddenly happened now, what ever happened to the years that pokerstars has been running in america? surely something should have been done then

24th April 2011
Cantbelievethesh!t

Let the goverment get its fu$k@ing cut and be done with it. They wonder why everyone is bitching about the econmy failing and Obamacare I pay taxes on everything else why not online gambling. I am so pissed that I cant come home every night and enjoy a game or so of poker. Tax the fu#k!ing s**t already and please just give me back my god free right to spend my money how I damn well please.

26th April 2011
golden girl

i dont think it is right waht the goverment is doing i think it is wrong , think we should be able to play online poker , what dose the goverment not have nuff money so now the shut down pokerstars in full tilt to get money out of the that is not right i think they should bring back online gambling , its not r falt that the goverment is missd up its there falt so dear goverment if you WANT TO MAKE US PPL HAPPY BRING BACK INTER NET POKER THANK YOU FOR TAKEN THE TIME TO READ THIS IT MAKES ME UPSET TO HERE YOU SHUT IT DOWN , :( :( :(

5th May 2011
Misty

Vegas casinos have paid off Harry Reid and other politicians to shut down PokerStars and other sites so that they can set up their own sites. You can bet that the Vegas casinos have already got their own sites built and ready to take over as soon as the politicians have it set up to get their share of taxes on winnings.

Obama is going tax us till we bleed to death!

6th May 2011
suzanne

Obama had nothing to do with USA players at PokerStars.
Gee, he wasn’t even in the USA when it happened.
Do any of you read the news at all. Or just say whatever
you want to. This happened in 2006 at PokerStars was
Obama President then? I don’t think so.

21st May 2011
berdah

tout les ring games 1/2 2/4 5/10 Son trués il y a des équipe de 4 Personnes qui joue sur la meme table c’est a dire que sur la table 4 JOUEURS JOUE CONTRE 2 J’ai vérifié et fourni a pokerstars les noms de chaque équipe ces 4 joueurs disparaisse et une autre équipe apparait la question ai de savoir comment je les ai trouvé car j’ai donné qu’a pokerstars les noms quand je trouve une équipe une autre revient comment sont il averti car ou c’est moi ou c’est pokerstrs et si vous pouvez m’aider a trouver l’organisme qui s’ocupe de la triche sur internet pour le poker merçi
jacques04@neuf.fr

22nd May 2011
Thaddeus

How the hell did ass clown james pull a President Obama barrage out of this. What a loser go finish beating your wife and drinking your cheap beer inbred illiterate backwoods hick.

24th May 2011
Johnny Boy

why can I not continue on the ‘play money’ site?

27th May 2011
none

what about the people that have to do this to make a living.. theyre F**ked now

25th June 2011
pat

well all you americans get up off your a……ss and get these people out of office. as for the money in my pokerstars acct, pokerstars can have it. And the us fbi can go fuc…..k them self.

25th June 2011
Uncle Sam

For all of you non-americans who decided to chime in an bash the US, please feel free to parade around in your of self absorb culture and sense of entitlment society. The reason the Europeans can’t understand our country is because we actually have the big stick and we always will. Americans will do anything to not become like you idiots. The beautiful thing is all we have to do is watch what you f-ck heads do and we do the exact opposite. So thanks for being our test dummies and showing us what not to do. Oh ya you peace of s,,t Americans that want to bash the country feel free to move to Europe and take money shots to the face and F**K OFF!

30th June 2011
Liz

I play the play money sites and now have to use ps.net. No avitar, no cashier icon, nothing at the top to let us find a player etc. This site should give us the same amenities as .com.

6th July 2011
Andy

Wow, the American Government busts the big non-US poker sites, forgetting the massive sponsorship deals those sites do throughout the world, attracting foreign cash to tournaments etc. Thus leaving the American market open only to the (less successful) US sanctioned gaming businesses.
Suprise, suprise!
The Senate and the Treasury learned everything they know from the Mob!
Freedom, justice and a free world are kinda out the window if “the greatest democracy on the planet” keeps up this kind of EXTORTION!

AMERICA the corrupt!
Where everybody lives with their arm twisted high up their back!

10th July 2011
DJ LEGEND

ANOTHER CONSPIRACY IN THE FRIGAN MAKING!!! THE US GOVERMENT WILL ALWAYZ HAVE THERE HAND IN COOKIE JAR AND THERE NOSES UP CHINA’S ASS!!! THAT DOSEN’T RESEMBLE THE AMERICA I KNOW AND I WAS TAUGHT WHILE IN GRAMMER SCHOOL!!! OBAMA TRICKED MILLIONS INTO VOTING FOR HIM,NOW THEY AND WE ARE PAYING THE FUCKING HIGH PRICE FOR IT!!! AND ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS SAY IT’S A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE SHEEPLE FOLLOW THE ORDERS LIKE GOOD LIL GIRLS AND BOYS!!! NO MORE POKER BECAUSE THEY WANT A CUT,PLEASE,SPARE ME!!! THAT’S JUST ANOTHER EXCUSE TO CONTROL US AND THE ON-LINE POKER INDUSTRY!!! LIL BY LIL,THE US GOVERMENT IS TAKING AWAY OUR FREEDOMS THAT THE CONSTITUTION GARANTEED US AND REPLACING THEM WITH A FORM OF COMMUNISM!!! OPEN YOUR EYES AND EARS AMERICANS BECAUSE IF WE DON’T DO SOMETHING VERY SOON,IT’S GONNA TURN INTO A FUCKING NIGHTMARE AND WE WON’T BE ABLE TO WAKE UP FROM IT!!!!!!!!

14th July 2011
crazyman 18 canada

I havent played any online poker ( pokerstars only ) since last november . Last night i thought i would give it a go again and was very surprised to see a completely butchered schedule for north america on p-stars . With a little investigation I find that the american gov. has been at it again . All that enjoyment down the tubes . Would much rather play against american players (higher quality of play ) than european players . My sympathies to the yankee players who , from what i can see , have been srewed blue and tatooed . I hope the american players can get together and fight this .

16th July 2011
Denny

It’s not the Govt., it’s the bible pushers, just like Prohibition crowd. MY religion forbids YOU to live your life; you must follow MY ways. Too f.ng many Rednecks!

17th July 2011
Daz

It’s only Poker people… To me, as a non-American/non-European, i would want my government to shut down a poker site if it was a bit dodgy. It’s not like the US has shut down all poker websites. Again, as a non-American, Obama is the best President you’ve had in a hell of a long time. We all know the debt was a result of the previous government and sometimes you need to up taxes to reduce debt.

28th July 2011
TIme for a change!

What in the hell are half of u people talking about??? I meean some are right but alotta of u are wrong!! How did this end up bein about Obama?? First off he is not the best president we have had in a long time. He is a puppet… 2nd all u ignorant people bashin the U.S. what the heck is the point in that?? Sh*t happends, deal with it.. Don’t start bashing a whole freakin country cause some idiots are getting money hungry (like alotta people all over the world) poker is a freakin RIGHT! We should have the option to do with our money as we please! We want to play poker online and pay our way we should be able to. With previous comments before me its just a way for some people to get money for nothin (u.s./europe/anywere!!) Unlike some I work my a** off for my money and will do what I want with it! I think it is time we stand up for somethin damn it cause I dont wanna think that this country or any country has taken that right away from me!!

31st July 2011
Anonymous

The money we earned to do what we want with is already taxed (more than once in most situations) therefore it is our to do as we please with. My government took away the best thing about being an american! Freedom! I’m leaving this country, and I hope it goes spirals down into hell where it belongs!

5th August 2011
tony

u people need to stop complaining and make a protest..let your government know ur not happy with this decision .. that what a democracy is for ,, they do what they want because no one does anything, when they make these decisions .

7th September 2011
James

So happy to be back in Australia. So many poker sites to play here. Feel sorry for the Americans as your country is full of shit.

12th November 2011
Ian

I was playing poker stars for years and just recently made a big mistake, I went to Vegas two weeks ago, lost money ,of course thats why people go to Vegas, anyway at the Vegas airport I had to wait three hours for my plane back to Canada so I opened up my laptop (free internet) and tried to access Pokers tars, I got a pop up ” not allowed to play in USA….I said to myself ok no big deal.When I got home and two or three days later my ACCOUNT is frozen because I tried to play in the USA and it is still frozen and they want everything including my first born to prove where I live.Which I find BULL crap because they know where my computer is at all times and where I live so I dont get it why they need bank accounts and credit cards etc….anyway if you visit UNCLE SAM dont play poker or he will GET YOU..bye

14th November 2011
Dave

All gambling industries are involved in money laundering,it is up to your government to choose which one,s it want,s to sleep with. At the moment PS and your government are working out the payoff, what size of the pie do they each receive.

27th November 2011
Nov 27, 2011

I am so angry with this situation. I so enjoyed playing poker on line for fun and no money involved, and now are unable to.
This feels more and more like a policed *)*&)*(&)( society. I am thinking about moving to another country! We are being put inder control of friggin’ everthing we do these days. OMG.

11th December 2011
Reckless705

quit whining its real money i take lots from them hahahaha ur just no good donkey

12th December 2011
Anonymous

About to play some freeroll ;) hehehe Gotta love Pokerstars.
And Also CANADA! :)

I feel sorry for y’all American online poker players :(

11th January 2012
Mike B

It is kind of ironic that we can’t play poker online but the feds and wallstreet can gamble our money away everyday…watch the movie “Inside Job” it pretty much tells it all , that we live in a country that is controlled by greed financed by poor bastards like me and you!!

12th March 2012
t

no comment ill take the fouth on this

3rd April 2012
HighRoller16

Point is not that Online poker is illegal, it was the manner in which they were doing the bank transactions. At least that is how I understand it. As for now tax is fine too on anything over $1200 i think. If I hit a 10K on a $1 slot machine I am going to get a Tax form for those winnings. I am not sure exactly what the minimum is for receiving that tax form. But Online poker should be that way as well. Then people have the choice to go to a brick and mortar casino or sit on their duff at home watching tv and playing cards.

6th April 2012
t

i think the site is totally corrupt and should be shut down full stop

12th November 2012
snitch

so whats the outcome now? i hear all usa players are getting all funding back from these sites? that’s what the FBI’s doing for us!! we’re all getting refunded with a check!! these crooks put my life in jeopardy. i hope all usa players will get refunded.

12th November 2012
john

they are shutting all down from what i’m hearing from the fbi and we are getting a refund or we’re going to war.

21st June 2013
Anonymous

Just set up your own dark net, and tunnel from European sites

4th August 2013
ilovepoker

the land of the NOT so FREE

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