As you can imagine, I’m getting a lot of questions from affiliates like “What Should We Do Now?”. With the recent situation with Full Tilt, Pokerstars, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet having their domains seized by the Department of Justice, there is a lot of uncertaintity.
At this very moment – there really isn’t that much we CAN do. It’s been approximately 24 hours since this first came out and everything is very uncertain at this stage.
Both Full Tilt Poker and Pokerstars are attempting to go with the “business as usual” approach – they’ve launched FullTiltPoker.co.uk and Pokerstars.eu as their main websites, and are quite simply not accepting US customers.
This means absolutely nothing for the long-term future of either of these poker rooms, and does not mean players funds are secure by any means. It’s simply the most obvious and also best move for either of these rooms to do during this period.
From speaking to some of the people involved with the poker rooms that were affected by this, they do seem to have a “We aren’t going quietly” approach. They’re ready to continue, business as usual, while currently not accepting US players.
Of course this really means nothing – these aren’t the decision makers, and while it is good that they have that mentality all their servers could be seized tomorrow and they could close up shop for all we know. I remember going through something similar with Eurolinx when I had conversations with some top people there who guaranteed everything was fine – then the very next day they were kaput.
Right now – it really is a case of waiting to see how this all plays out when it comes to Full Tilt and Pokerstars. As an affiliate, I would not recommending sending traffic to those rooms at this point. I would divert players elsewhere until we see how the dust settles. There is so much money involved in online poker that in my personal opinion, I feel they will do everything they can to remain online, even if it means cutting off US players permanently. In saying that, and knowing all the shadiness that has occurred to have these rooms continue to process US players money, I wouldn’t recommend sending players to those rooms.
But what about the other US-facing rooms? The big rooms like Carbon Poker and Cake Poker, or the Cake, Merge, Everleaf and Yatahay Networks? What will happen to them?
One thing you have to remember is that this indictment isn’t as much based on Full Tilt etc offering online poker to US players as it is based on the business practises and what is effectively money laundering that occurred to allow these players to play, and how they violated the UIEGA to get payments in and out.
None of these rooms have came out with a public statement yet, however I would be extremely surprised if they made the decision to cut off US players. If anything, I’d suggest it’d be the opposite: they’ll aggressively target US players much like Full Tilt did post-UIEGA. If there was one network that I think would cut off US players it would be Everleaf, simply because US players don’t make up much of their traffic anyway, so it wouldn’t be as big a hassle.
I am extremely confident that Carbon Poker will continue to take US players.
So, what to do as an affiliate?
With no statements yet from the other rooms, it’s hard to say for sure. However I would be directing any US traffic I could to the likes of Carbon and Cake, until we hear otherwise from these rooms.
If you aren’t signed up at Carbon Poker as an affiliate, sign up here. Carbon will be the one to reap the benefits from this situation I expect. I watched how they handled the Sportsbook/Players Only leaving Cake situation, and I can’t wait to see Carbon improve leaps and bounds due to this.
Any non-US traffic, I would be sending to the likes of Party Partners, Titan Poker and any other rooms that don’t accept non-US players. While I think everything will be safe with the likes of Carbon and Cake, I wouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket here for sure.
If you run your site on WordPress, I HIGHLY recommend starting to geo-target. Any Full Tilt pages start sending them to Carbon or Cake if they’re in the US, and send them elsewhere if they’re non-US.
You can use the Epik Media Geo-Target Plugin to make geo-targeting a breeze. It costs $50, however I just set up a deal with them in light of this situation – use coupon code: APRIL18 for $20 off the sale price. This expires on April 18th @ 11:59pm EST.
I should also note that I don’t make a penny from any sales of that. However it is a plugin that I use everywhere and has served me very well and made me a lot of money, and I’d like the creator of it to sell as many as possible.
Good luck guys, and if you’re signing up with any new rooms I’d appreciate if you could use my affiliate links and that way you’ll get the best possible deals. I’ve got a list of affiliate programs here and you can just e-mail me at G@DealerDan.com if there’s any rooms you are looking to sign up with.