TOPS-poker.org has learned that Sportsbook Poker is remaining committed to blocking all new US-based accounts from their website starting May 1st, 2011.
Online PR News – 28-April-2011 – – TOPS-poker.org reports that Sportsbook Poker, one on the most popular online poker sites since the US government shutdown of Full Tilt and PokerStars, appears to be serious about closing their doors to US players within the next 72 hours. As it currently stands, April 30th, 2011 will be the last day that any US-based gamblers will be allowed to register for a new account on the Sportsbook Poker website. Once the clock strikes zero on May 1st, only existing US subscribers will have access to the poker room for real money.
The Players Only poker site is planning to block new subscribers on May 1stas well, which leaves very few other options for players within the United States that are searching for large-scale poker tournaments and stakes tables. While there are several other poker rooms that remain committed to servicing US customers, they simply do not have the player base that gamblers have become accustomed to.
"The great thing about Full Tilt Poker was that there were millions of players there every week, so there were plenty of opportunities to face off against new opponents," said Steven Hastings, a spokesman for TOPS Poker. "With the big four online poker rooms out of business in the United States, Sportsbook Poker and Players Only are the only two comparable options."
Sportsbook Poker has verified that existing customers within the United States will be allowed to continue using their website portals for online poker, sports bets, and their full casino. This change in stance will only apply towards registering for a new account; existing accounts will not be blocked or deleted. The company has also stated that all US deposits currently being held on the website are perfectly safe; they can be withdrawn at any time or left on the website for future gambling.
"I think that Sportsbook Poker and Players Only are trying to make this move ahead of the United States since they are now the big boys on the block," added Hastings on Thursday. "While both websites are complying with the UIGEA and turning down banking transfers from US customers, they probably feel like backing off is in the best interests of the company for a long-term future relationship with US players and the rest of the world."
Hastings went on to explain that the gaming laws used to shut down Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars were extremely vague when it came to defining what an illegal gambling website actually is, which is why Absolute Poker has been rumored to be thinking about contacting the World Trade Organization in hopes of an appeal. The Cereus Poker Network, which owns both Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, claims that the US poker shutdowns are illegal under international trade agreements.
"For now, we are telling all of our readers to create an account at Sportsbook Poker or Players Only before May 1st so at least the option is there for them," Hastings explained. "That way, no matter what happens in the future, they'll still have access to one of the major poker networks. After May 1st, that opportunity is gone forever."