Full Tilt has informed its players in Washington state that “due to recent legal developments,” they will no longer be welcome at Full Tilt’s real money tables. A month ago, the poker company sent out notices that it was considering its options after a Washington State Supreme Court rejected an appeal of the state’s 2006 decision to classify online gambling as a Class C felony. PokerStars has already pulled out of Washington state for similar reasons.
According to Full Tilt’s announcement, Washington residents will be permitted to withdraw their existing balances, but unlike PokerStars, Full Tilt will still welcome Washington residents at their cash tables if they happen to travel outside state borders. (Hey, look… Canada’s right over there…) Washington-based online poker pros will clearly have some thinking to do this weekend, or they might just say ‘screw it’ and start Googling professional moving firms.
So what does this mean for other US-facing poker rooms? UB.com is reportedly ‘reviewing the situation.’ We’re not surprised, given Washington state’s recent seizure of some $553k from a payment processor linked to UltimateBet. This is but the latest example of the eCom difficulties pure poker companies are facing as the US appears to have them as public enemy number one in their investigative sights for the last few years. We certainly wish that Americans would be allowed to spend their money where and how they choose, but with the outcome of the recent elections we expect the status quo will be with us for years to come, so the big international brands that let US residents play will continue to find themselves under eCom pressure.