It seems as though the U.S. indictment of at least one of the three online poker companies will leave poker players the possibility of never getting their money back. This will go for all their players and not just those in the United States.
Blanca Gaming of Antigua which is the parent company of Absolute Poker and UB poker (formerly Ultimate Bet) told shareholders in an email that it planned to file for bankruptcy protection in Norway. Madeira Fjord of Norway, which represents shareholders in the company, said that the company had “no cash on hand and no prospects for any cash flow for the foreseeable future.”
The email further said that;
“Most importantly, Blanca Gaming has provided notice … that it is currently unable to make any payments toward its debt obligations. Additionally, Blanca has further advised that there will be no future payments.”
The U.S. government seized five domains in total including those of Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. In a deal struck with the government, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars had their domains relinquished in order to start returning money owed to U.S. online poker players. Both are in the process of returning deposits and the deal was also open for Absolute Poker and UB but no progress was being made with the latter two sites.
According to chatter on the popular poker forums, neither Absoulute Poker nor UB have been processing withdrawals for those outside the U.S. either. Absolute Poker was once one of the top online poker sites allowing U.S. players but in 2007 saw a cheating scandal ruin its market share. Shareholders were working on a plan to sell the company when the federal indictment was handed down. Now it seems the players will pay for what some say has been long term mismanagement.