According to MSNBC.com, Absolute Poker and its spinoff venture Ultimate Bet owned by, Blanca Gaming, which were shut down by the FBI on April 15th will be filing for bankruptcy. This upsetting news has rather spread depression among the US online poker players who are now worried that they may never get back their money which they have rightfully invested or won.
The other two poker sites, namely PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker entered into an agreement with the DOJ for allocating player payments so that US online poker players can withdraw their money which remains in their accounts subsequent to the FBI crackdown. But Absolute Poker entered into no such agreement with DOJ concerning this issue.
It has become very evident that there are absolutely no funds left to give back to the players and the Absolute Poker declared that they “had no cash on hand and no prospects for future cash flow.” The notice given by Blanca Gaming stated that the company will not be able to make any payments to the players and the vendors at the moment and moreover no such additional payments can be made in the future.
MSNBC.com also cited information from a reliable source from Costa Rica that around three hundred employees from the company were to lose their jobs. Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet are originally based out of Costa Rica and 300 employees makes up for 95% of their work force. These people belong to either the marketing sector or the customer support departments of the casino.
Of all the 11 indictments issued during the FBI shutdown on April 15th by the US DOJ on charges of bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling, two of them were served to the founders of Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet Poker. Joining the bandwagon were parties and founders involved with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars are in the middle of already returning all the funds that have been locked down back to their player’s accounts but to the great misery of Absolute Poker and Ultimate bet members, they may never see their funds coming back to them.
The kind of impact that this incident might have on international online poker players is very ambiguous. Although, there is no doubt that a good number of US online poker players will now be weary of which websites they sign up with and check for their credibility.