✖ Covers.com has released “an official message … regarding betED” via FreedomAtStake’s Blog that confirmed the sportsbook has “closed and will not be reopening” after being named in the Blue Monday indictments. Worse, “all of the player funds have been seized … there is no money left. The American government has it all.”
Motivated by the fact that betED was “at the top of our Top Sportsbooks list,” Covers chose to stress that betED “ran a small, but very professional shop. They intentionally tried to stay below the big government radar. They made business decisions based on the idea that sometimes it was a good idea to leave a little bit of profit on the table if it meant that they would be more secure. None of that mattered.”
Despite this stark assessment, the Covers message optimistically stated that “anybody owed money by betED will get it back. We at Covers.com don’t take kindly to having our clients money stolen from them. We will do everything in our power to get your money back and in your hands. We are going to ask, beg, talk, whine, shout, whisper, or write to whoever it takes to get that money released to the players. That is a promise.”
It’s a bit of a mixed message, in that Covers initially promises that players will get their money back, but ends promising only that they will do what they can to get that money back. Which is all they can promise, really, given the forces they’re up against.
✖ A similarly depressing notice has been sent to customers of QuickTender, the payment processor that also operates under the name UseMyWallet. Two accounts in Dutch banks held by QuickTender-affiliated company Chargestream Ltd. were seized in connection with the Blue Monday indictments. QuickTender sent customers a notice last week alerting them to the possibility that funds had been frozen. Wednesday’s notice read thusly:
Since our last email communication where we advised any funds in your QuickTender account could still be used to purchase at QuickTender accepting sites we had been working hard to reinstate our withdrawal facility and ensuring your funds where [sic] safe and secure. However, further developments specifically relating to our main bank processing company have resulted in our accounts being frozen subject to a seizure order giving us no ability to make payments in any currency.
In light of these developments we have had no option but to discontinue the QuickTender service with immediate effect and for the foreseeable future. At this time we are unable to confirm when or if we could make payments of remaining balances. We will keep you advised of future relevant developments.
✖ Subject: Poker has obtained a copy of the plea agreement between the Department of Justice and Bradley Franzen, one of the payment processing figures indicted on Black Friday and who pled guilty to all charges on Monday. The agreement stipulates that Franzen “shall truthfully and completely disclose all information with respect to the activities of himself and others concerning all matters about which this Office inquires of him.” Franzen also agreed to produce any evidence requested by the DoJ and to testify before the grand jury and at any trial or court proceeding related to pretty much anything the DoJ chooses to investigate. If Franzen cooperates to the DoJ’s satisfaction, they agree to tell his sentencing judge that Franzen isn’t entirely evil.
✖ PokerStars’ role in Black Friday was recently raised in the Isle of Man’s lower legislative body, the House of Keys. Asked whether there was any substance behind the charges leveled at PokerStars, economic development minister Alan Bell would only say: “I am not in a position to make comment on the question at this time and given the sensitivity of the issue it would be inappropriate of me to hazard a guess as to the motives of the US authorities in pursuing this action. At the moment the gambling supervision commission has reconfirmed the licence of PokerStars which is a very important employer in the Isle of Man, employing some 250 people.”