Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pokerchamps, Betfair Scam

As you have read, last week Pokerchamps, a site owned by Betfair decided to close all U.S. Accounts and gave those customers 24 hours to withdraw their funds.

Needless to say there are a lot of pissed off Americans and rightly so. It's still not know if this was a knee jerk reaction to the recent arrest of BetOnSports CEO David Carruthers, or if it has been in the works by Betfair.(here after referred to as BF as I can't bring my self to type the word "fair" when I refer to them any longer)

BF purchased Pokerchumps back in November of 05 and had a policy in place at that time which excluded American accounts. This was a big concern by all Pokerchump's U.S. affiliates that had been working diligently to bring new players to the site since it's inception 2 years earlier. I am one of those in that boat. I spammed Party Poker so fiercely that they added pokerchamps.com to the word filter to deter my actions. Pokerchamps would never have gotten off the ground if it wasn't for the hard work of its affiliates.

It was for this reason that the question was asked many times, "will we Americans be able to continue to play and will affiliate programs be affected by this purchase". We were told by the then CEO of Pokerchumps Tony G (poker pro) that we would be allowed to play and our affiliates programs would not be in jeopardy. This was also confirmed by BF card room manager Ben Fried (sounds like a joke, but that's his name) Tony has since come out and said he is sorry for what has happened. I assume this means he was not party to this and that BF had not planned to exclude U.S. accounts all along as they said in their account closing explanation.

During the 24 hour time period given for us to get our money out, pokerchamps.com was conveniently not functioning properly and most players were not even able to access the cashier portion of the site to withdraw their money. Also many are now complaining that they can't even get a response to there e-mails in regards to this matter.

Put your boots on because the shit gets even deeper. Many have suggested that players having problems cashing out should contact the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta which licences and supposedly regulates casinos under its jurisdiction such as Pokerchamps. Come to find out tho, Kevin Mikkelsen, who is calling the shots at Pokerchamps since Tony G left, is also on the board of directors of the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta. (read more) Tell me this doesn't stink of corruption and fraud. The fox guarding the hen house.

I can only hope that the Justice Department get's wind of this and finds reason to put BF, Pokerchamps and the Malta Gaming executives on it's list of scumbags to prosecute.

To any Europeans planning on playing at BF Poker be advised BF is also licenced by the lotteries and Gamming Authority of Malta. (read more)

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