United States Players Restricted from Merge Gaming

In the United States, online poker gaming is quite restricted. In the past, players had access to countless online poker sites, including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Bet and more. Poker fans could log online whenever they liked and enjoy cash games, tournaments and more. However, by the mid-2000s, the government stepped in and majorly restricted online gaming, basically shutting down all online poker sites and players were left dumbfounded.

Fast forward a few years and the Department of Justice decides to reinterpret the Wire Act of 1961, which would allow individual states to decide if they want to offer online poker gaming. Only three states have yet to take up the opportunity, with Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey providing online poker gaming. The poker games are restricted to the state’s borders and geolocation technology is used to ensure players are not trying to access the sites from somewhere else.

Due to these restrictions and the possible prosecution of gaming sites who operate in the United States, many providers have opted to remove themselves from the equation. The latest operator to no longer offer services in the US appears to be the Merge Gaming network. Operating PlayersOnly, Carbon Poker, SuperBook and other sites, Merge Gaming has reportedly stopped accepting players from the United States.

As reported by PokerNewsDaily, players as well as representatives from the sites are stating that Merge is no longer going to be taking new players from the United States. The change may not be one that is permanent but for now it is in place. This is not the first time that Merge has stopped accepting players from the region. For now, players who are members from the US will be able to stay on the network. It seems the players who already have an account will not be affected at this time.

In 2011, Merge Gaming stopped accepting players in the US on specific sites including SuperBook and PlayersOnly. Carbon would soon follow. At this time, the network was the largest operator in the US. New signups were stopped due to the limitations with payment process as the government began to restrict financial options for online gaming.

Players who already were involved with Merge Gaming in 2011 were not affected. The new policy lasted for just a few months until players were allowed to sign up again. Surprisingly, the stoppage of new accounts in the United States comes when the network was able to provide payouts at surprising speeds. In 2015, players were waiting at least three months or more for a check to arrive. Now, it takes around a one month time frame, according to PokerNewsDaily.

Along with the decision to stop new accounts, Merge Gaming has also announced that affiliate programs will no longer be paying commissions to their partners, beginning at the end of the month. Affiliate programs have not been accepting new players since May of last year and affiliates were being paid based on existing players who had been involved with the site over a year after the program was stopped.

It will be interesting to see just how long the change is in effect and if this will become a permanent decision by Merge Gaming. In the past, it has taken just a few months for US players to have the opportunity to sign back up. An official statement has not been released so any additional information on the matter may not be released until one is produced by Merge. It will also be interesting to see if existing player accounts will remain unaffected by this decision or if changes will be made in the future.