PokerStars To Confiscate Funds Of US Players On SiteAugust 18, 2014 7:27 pm
As part of its $731 million settlement deal with the Department of Justice, PokerStars agreed to stop US players from gambling on its site with the online poker room subsequently implementing “a whole range of complementary measures” with than end in mind.
Naturally, tech-savy players have been able to find ways to circumvent PokerStars’ block since the site introduced its policy back in April, 2011, even risking having their “net profits” confiscated if caught. However, the stakes have now been raised for Americans who could now have their “whole” account balances confiscated, after the PokerStars Head of Public Relations Michael Josem took to the Two Plus Two forum to gets its message out. As his post, explains:
“Our previous policy was, by default, to only confiscate net winnings.. Over recent months, by default, we have been confiscating the whole balance (except when we are convinced that the player was non-malicious and had no knowledge of this restrictions, in which case we only confiscate net winnings). We made this decision earlier this year, and it this decision has no relationship to any other recent announcements.”
Although Josem suggests PokerStars’ decision was unrelated to any recent announcements made by the company, it seems apparent that its real intention is to appease the US government as it attempts to regain a foothold in its nascent iPoker market. PokerStars is currently hoping to be awarded an online gambling license by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and its latest decision to levy heavier penalties on US players will go a long way to convincing authorities it is now a changed company to the one that originally got rich on an unregulated US iPoker industry.
The evidence for PokerStars turning over a new leaf is further highlighted by the fact its parent company, the Rational Group, was recently acquired by Amaya Gaming, and in the process removed the Scheinberg, labeled “bad actors,” from any involvement with the business. In addition, the publicly traded company is now more keen than ever to avoid scrutiny from authorities as it seeks to gain an even greater exposure to the US market.