US Online Poker Still Faltering After the Flop

September 25, 2011, Written by Neha A

There was a time when we all believed that revenues for online poker would never reach critical mass; that they would just keep growing and growing as the game continued to grow in popularity. However, we are seeing drops in revenue for online poker, in particular in the US, and this is for obvious reason – like DoJ indictments for example.

The latest to be hit by a falter after the flop is the Merge Gaming Network. It is not only revenue that matters in this industry however, traffic makes all the difference. This poker network has been subjected to a 10% week-on-week cash game drop, supposedly instigated by another US DoJ targeting of the network. This is an as yet unconfirmed report, but once again the Department of Justice supposedly has its sights set on the assets of payment processors for the network. This is understandable, based on their Black Friday action against the biggest online poker sites and payment processors operating in the US.

According to an online poker monitoring and review site; Merge had refused to comment, however prime-time traffic was down by as much 25% on Monday the 12th September.

Despite a rather bleak outlook it appears that some US pokers sites are sticking to their guns, and continue to operate in the face of a highly uncertain future. There are still sites moving to the Merge Gaming Network, with Pokerview being one of the latest to migrate from the Everleaf network. They have released a statement that they would continue to accept new registrations from US players. On the flip side of the coin, another Merge skin – Hero Poker stopped taking new US sign-ups in May 2011, the remainder of the network followed suit not long afterwards. Merge has also suggested that they were close to lifting these restrictions. The one thing that springs to mind is – are online poker networks that still accept US players behaving in a responsible manner towards these players?

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