888 Account Closures Impacting Relocated US Players
Reports have started to reach FlushDraw.net regarding 888 account closures impacting US players who had relocated in order to play on international sites. US ex-pat players in both Mexico and Canada have been informed that their 888 accounts have been closed, with all remaining funds are being returned to the players.
The action originally appeared to be limited to players holding US Citizenship status (but only the majority if the accounts effected are ex-pats), and mainly from the ex-pat communities in Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. The discovery of the closed accounts started early in the morning on the 14th of May. With no communications from 888, players were alerted to the issue after receiving an email advising them of the withdrawal of their entire balance. As the players had not requested this withdrawal, their first thought was who had done this, and after failing to log in, suggestions of hacked accounts were starting to be posted on various internet forums. This was also happening on 888 Network skins LuckyAce and Play848, and while Mexico is thought to be announcing new online gambling laws soon, nothing appeared to have changed to warrant a mass closure of accounts.
Early attempts to contact 888 Support went unanswered, with a forum post on 2+2 being the only official response from the company. With it just reading:
“We continuously monitor all 888poker accounts and activities and take steps accordingly. In the event you have received an email that you feel is an error, then please contact the support team and you will be answered in due course.” players were left with no formal confirmation of what was happening. It took until the 17th for emails to be sent to those who had complained about their account being closed for apparently no reason, and when these emails were received, they all seemed to be the same:
This is the Operations Department at Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Ltd. We are contacting you in regards to your 888poker account with username “XXXXXX”.
Thank you for your recent email.
As advised in prior contacts, the decision to cancel your membership with us still stands. Please note that such actions taken are at our sole discretion which is also in accordance with our Terms & Conditions. This decision is final and has only been taken after careful consideration of all factors involved.
A withdrawal for the funds located in your bankroll has been made on your behalf. Please note your withdrawal will be processed and paid as per our withdrawal policy.
With this been said, please refrain from opening any further accounts with any site managed by Cassava Enterprises as these too will be blocked and no deposits returned. I now consider this matter closed, any further correspondence regarding this matter will only evoke the same response.
We anticipate your cooperation and best of luck in your future endeavors.
Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Ltd”
Former 888 players have been trying to get more information from 888 through several avenues, but have not heard anything more than a re-iteration of the original communication confirming the account closure.
We contacted 888 for comment, but have not received any response. With no other statements coming out of any 888 Spokesperson, it seems the Gibraltar based company isn’t leaving either the Canadian or the Mexican markets. As 888 working Caesar’s Entertainment providing the software for the World Series of Poker sites in both Nevada and New Jersey it could be that 888 has been put under pressure regarding US Citizens playing outside the country on internationally available sites. It has also been postulated that this could be a response to US players playing on 888 via VPNs while still living and playing from the Untied States of America, in contravention of 888’s terms and conditions, as well as being considered a crime by US Law Enforcement (although no-one, to my knowledge, has ever been charged for playing online poker).
While there is currently no evidence for either of these theories, as nothing has come out of an official 888 source disenfranchised players have been left with nothing but theories.
While it is part of 888’s terms and conditions that they can cancel an account at anytime with no reason given, the actions since the 14th have been lacking the required communication in order to not start a rumour mill that could seriously impact the site’s reputation. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this issue, and will be keeping you up to date with any significant changes as this story continues.