Equity Poker Network Anchor FullFlush Poker Departs NJ, NV, DE
The exodus of “offshore,” US-facing online sites from the three US states which have formally authorized and introduced their own online-poker offerings continued on Thursday with the pullout from New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware of Equity Poker Network flagship FullFlush Poker.
The departure of the EPN from the three US states mirrors that done by the Winning Poker Network and its major skins America’s Cardroom and Black Chip Poker, which announced a similar pullout last week.
The limited market withdrawals in both cases can be traced to a late-April cease-and-desist notice sent out by the New Jersey Division of Gamimg Enforcement (DGE), which notified affiliates offering links to the aforementioned networks and others that such links were viewed as a violation of both New Jersey and US federal law, though the “federal” portion of that claim is suspect, given the lack of applicable federal law.
Further, some of the affiliates in question appear to have been trying to simultaneously offer links to both the regulated and unregulated online sites trying to serve New Jersey players, a reckless marketing strategy that was virtually guaranteed to cause complications. Unverified reports suggest that a rival affiliate outlet alerted the DGE to the presence of the unregulated site links on the six US affiliates who were served with the C&D notice.
Equity issued a public statement on behalf of its flagship FullFlush Poker site, with no one other than a self-anonymized “Full Flush Poker Spokesman” cited as the source of the comments. The complete (but brief) statement:
FullFlushPoker.com Withdraws Real-Money Gaming from Regulated U.S. States
San Jose, Costa Rica, (May 22, 2014) – FullFlushPoker.com (“FFP”), flagship online poker room of the Equity Poker Network (“EPN”), announced today that effective immediately, they have withdrawn the full suite of online real-money gaming options for players residing in the regulated U.S. States of New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware.
FFP operates with its players foremost in mind, and fair play for all customers is paramount. With these principles in mind, the recreational online poker site has decided to stop serving players who reside in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware due to the availability of a regulated poker market in those states.
This decision takes effect today with players in these regulated U.S. markets set to receive email notification of the change in policy, and confirmation that their account will be closed. Players with existing FFP accounts who reside in these three states will have access to them to close out their balances. FFP will work quickly to return player funds to those affected.
“We have taken this action in order to ensure that the vast majority of our customers, who do not reside in New Jersey, Nevada, or Delaware, continue to have access to our site and to enjoy playing the game that they love without disruption or inconvenience,” said a Full Flush Poker Spokesperson.
“Our priority still remains our players, and we’re proud to provide our loyal customers from around the globe with a fun and entertaining poker environment that they can trust, and that operates with the highest values of fairness, integrity and security.”
No timeline for refunding affected players has been established.
The EPN and WPN pullouts, combined with a similar move in January by the Merge Network, mean that of the sites and networks specifically referenced in the New Jersey cease-and-desist, only Bovada, the US-facing arm of Bodog, remains actively serving the three regulated US states. Bovada is different in two other ways as well, since the company is a sportsbetting site that carries poker as a sideline, and the company also serves only four markets — the United States, Canada, China and Vietnam — after exiting the regulated European market in 2012.