Deposit options for American online poker players became scarcer Friday as ePassporte put a stop to poker transactions by its U.S. customers.The company had not allowed casino and sports gambling transactions for quite some time, but had still permitted transactions for poker.Because of this, it replaced Neteller as the e-wallet of choice for most American poker players.
Internet poker message boards began rumbling Friday evening, as players noticed that ePassporte was not available at most poker sites.Some sites said that ePassporte was having technical difficulties, while others simply removed it as a deposit and withdrawal option altogether.A handful of people claimed to have definitive evidence that ePassporte was done with poker, but they did not offer up this evidence for all to see.As such, there was still much speculation as to what was really going on.
But then, later that night, Cake Poker posted confirmation on its cashier page:
“We have received notice from ePassporte today that they are unable to continue to provide CakePoker with merchant e-wallet services. We have since confirmed that this situation is not unique to CakePoker and is, in fact, industry wide.”
Full Tilt poker followed on Saturday with an e-mail to people who attempted to use ePassporte.In part, in read, “We have recently been notified by ePassporte that they are no longer able to facilitate deposits or withdrawals between ePassporte and Full Tilt Poker player accounts. We apologize for this inconvenience which is unfortunately outside of our control.”
The clincher was a communication that ePassporte sent to online poker rooms, informing them of the move.The company said that “a widespread investigation of Internet gambling, including poker” by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York was the reason for the decision."Although we do not believe we have done anything illegal,” ePassporte stated, “we do not wish to be associated with anything that might be considered illegal by the United States Government."
While ePassporte has not released an official statement to the public and anything is, of course, possible, there is no immediate reason to believe that customer deposits will be in limbo, as they were with Neteller.ePassporte serves many other “legal” industries and customers have reported successful withdrawals of funds from ATMs.