April 15th which many online gambling news sources are dubbing ‘Black Friday’ was when the Department of Justice in America launched its indictments that shut down online poker and started the dominos to begun to fall.
Online poker operator Absolute Poker and UltimateBet have declared bankruptcy much to the consternation of the players who have their funds tied up in those accounts. The insolvency is a direct result of the DoJ actions which has shredded the company’s business in Costa Rica.
The company’s legal situation has resulted in the closing down of the servers and customer service center in Costa Rica. Blanca Gaming the parent company of Absolute Poker and UltimateBet have let go as many as 300 employees at its Costa Rican offices.
Madeira Fjord, a Norwegian company that represents Blanca’s shareholders, said that the company will seek bankruptcy protection in Norway. Blanca said in a prepared statement that the reasons for the declaration were that the company “is currently unable to make any payments toward its debt obligations” and that it had “no cash on hand and no prospects for any cash flow for the foreseeable future.”
There are perhaps millions of dollars tied up in the online poker accounts of the three major firms that were shut down by the American Justice system and it has been speculated that players at Absolute Poker of UltimateBet which operate on the Cereus Network licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission will never see their funds. The cheating scandal almost cost the company its license back in 2007 but it survived and continued to grow until now.
The other two major poker rooms involved in the DoJ crackdown, Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker are trying to remain solid, with Poker Stars already beginning the sticky task of returning players funds with the blessing of the Department of Justice. Full Tilt Poker is still looking forward to striking a deal with the DoJ and returning money owed to its members.