Everleaf Poker Network sanctioned by the LGA

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Mar 11, 2012 Posted in Poker Industry News | No Comments »

This past week one of the most well-respected regulatory bodies in poker (the licensing body of PokerStars in fact) The Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta issued a statement saying they had sanctioned the Everleaf Poker Network for “irregularities”.

From the LGA website:

“The LGA Enforcement Unit issued sanctions against Everleaf Gaming Ltd following an investigation which emerged with a number of irregularities in their operation. Everleaf Gaming is being monitored closely to ensure its operation respects Maltese law.”

You may recall that the Everleaf Poker Network ran afoul of the US government recently and had an undisclosed amount of money seized by the DOJ. The seizure was accompanied by a cease and desist order from the US Attorney’s Office n Maryland, and Everleaf voluntarily withdrew from the US market.

The news was first revealed by a representative from Minted Poker (one of the Everleaf Poker Network’s 100 skins) who issued the following statement to the website pokerfuse.com:

“Several weeks ago when the network lost one of the US processors, some of the processed funds were held back by what is now clear as the Department of Homeland Security,” writes the representative. “They have now also issued a letter to [cease] and desist operations in the USA, under threat of legal enforcement against the network.”

A later statement by the network verified what the Minted Poker rep had said, and went on to assure US players that they would be repaid shortly and that everything was internally sound at the network:

“As has been reported, certain funds maintained by one of our payment processors to be distributed to U.S. customers were seized by U.S. authorities. To our knowledge, the U.S. authorities seized these funds and blocked the transactions based on purported violations of certain U.S. laws, including operating an illegal money transmitting business, the Wire Act, and money laundering. Evidence relative to the subject can be reviewed from the attached papers.

“Please be advised that this seizure occurred in the United States and only affects U.S. players.

“In view of the above, Everleaf will no longer accept U.S. players. Nonetheless, Everleaf reiterates and wants to reassure all the effected players that all the funds will be refunded in full and the effected parties will be contacted in a short while accordingly.

“For the other markets we operate in and with regards to all our other players we want to reassure you that nothing has changed and thank you for the continued business with our Company.

“We sincerely apologize for the lack of communication to date, but as a Company we were still trying to find our feet and assessing the situation at hand and how to best protect the interest of all the effected parties.”

Everleaf saw a modest drop in traffic after leaving the US market, and thus far the announced sanctions haven’t had any further impact on the site’s traffic numbers judging by the numbers posted at pokerscout.com. Prior to the US pullout, Everleaf had peak traffic numbers between 700 and 900 players; after the withdrawal from the US market the network’s peak traffic dipped to 600-700 players. We will continue to monitor this story as it develops.

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