Full Tilt Poker Responds To Shut Down By The FBIApril 18, 2011 6:57 am
Last week, Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Absolute Poker came under investigation from the US government, which has indicted them on fraud and conspiracy charges.
Consequently, these poker rooms were forced to withdraw from the US market and have been making various public statements ever since designed to steady their businesses, as well as reassure their millions of customers.
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Focusing on the situation at Full Tilt, CEO Raymond Bitar and employee Nelson Burtnick now face charges of bank fraud and money laundering but have yet to be arrested as they are based outside of the USA. Wisely, the company moved from Los Angeles to Dublin, Ireland in 2006 after the UIGEA was introduced to the US.
Full Tilt have now opened up FullTiltPoker.co.uk for new non USA players.
In the meantime, Full Tilt Poker was quick to respond to some of the accusations levelled at it and a company statement read:
“Mr. Bitar and Full Tilt Poker believe online poker is legal, a position also taken by some of the best legal minds in the United States.”
Raymond Bitar, 39, then added, “I am surprised and disappointed by the government’s decision to bring these charges. I look forward to Mr. Burtnick’s and my exoneration.”
Although Bitar and Burtnick appeared unaffected concerning the worrying situation, they were also keen to install the same level of confidence in their customers and so released a statement which said:
“In light of recent events involving the freezing of certain accounts, Full Tilt Poker would like to assure all players that their funds remain safe and secure. Processing of both deposit and withdrawal requests is proceeding as normal and is still available to all of our players.”
Signalling that it would be business as usual outside of the US, the poker room then added:
“Full Tilt Poker remains committed to the protection of our players’ security and legal rights, and will continue to provide the best and safest online poker room available worldwide.”
Despite Full Tilt’s apparent confidence the company along with PokerStars now knows, however, that the hey-days which it has enjoyed following PartyPoker’s withdrawal from the US market in 2006 is now well and truly over.
Previously, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars enjoyed a 70% share of the US market and earned $1 billion in revenue each year from illegal online poker.