PokerStars Tightens Noose On Stealthy US PlayersOctober 31, 2011 9:02 am
Despite Black Friday in the US, many American players have chosen to ignore their government’s directive and continue playing at PokerStars.
So far, some US online poker players have been logging on to the site using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which allows them to disguise their true location by re-routing their connection through another country’s server. It has been described as equivalent to phoning a friend who then calls another person and puts the two phones together.
PokerStars is currently facing legal charges from the Department of Justice and so has been cooperating with the enforcement agency to block any US players from accessing the site. As PokerStars stipulates:
“Real money play is not allowed from within the US under any circumstances. Players who attempt to play for real money from inside the US with the aid of VPNs or other technical workarounds will lose their playing privileges and/or funds in their account.”
Recently, many US players who have thus far been able to avoid being detected have now found their accounts suspended and funds frozen, as PokerStars cracks down on the practice.
Although VPN connections are apparently unfeasible to detect, any connection disruptions can reveal the player’s true location to PokerStars. Players attempting to circumvent the law would also need an online wallet or bank account as proof of residency or citizenship of their stated country. However, any discrepancies detected by PokerStars could then give the game away for the VPN users.
According to one forum poster, many of the bans have come only after a cashout request, with one respondant stating:
“I think it’s historically been common practice for PokerStars and other poker sites to subject an account to additional scrutiny when the account holder makes a cash out request. I assume this is done mainly to check for involvement in cheating or fraudulent activity before releasing the funds. Now it looks like enforcing the US location ban has been added to the checklist.”