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Kahnawake Gaming Commission issues statement on beleaguered Absolute Poker player funds

Regulators allege 'process to liquidate Blanca [Game's] assets'


On Thursday, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission issued a statement regarding United States player funds on its licensee Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet. Regulators allege a “potential solution” to compensate victims.

The Commission said that it has been “in close and regular discussions” with Blanca Games since the indictments were announced on April 15. Antigua-based Blanca Games acquired the Cereus Poker Network in August 2010.

The Commission also alleges it has “received regular updates of discussions between AP/UB and the [US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York].” The Department of Justice declined to comment on its case with Absolute Poker.

“Over the past several weeks, we were advised of […] a process to liquidate Blanca’s assets and distribute proceeds to players. We understand that this process has been presented to SDNY for consideration and approval.”

The announcement comes after an amended complaint was filed in late September seeking the forfeiture of some assets and $500 million in penalties for alleged violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), bank and wire fraud and money laundering. Subsequently, Absolute Poker requested additional time to file claims for the contested property and “to answer or otherwise respond to the amended complaint.” The operator has until Oct. 31, 2011.

In May, the online poker site said it struck a deal with the Department of Justice. Limited cash outs were being processed in the following months for non-U.S. players while the company still continued to operate in foreign countries.

Also in May, MSNBC reported possible bankruptcy for Blanca Games. A debt holder of the gaming company stated that it couldn’t honor its debts. Blanca Games denied the bankruptcy rumors.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus



over 10 years ago

So WTF did they say?


over 10 years ago

No idea how Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth can get away with this. Running out the door before 50 million in players funds seized. How do they get away with this. How can they play in a live tourney without getting heckled or jeered. They had inside information.Complete crooks I hope they get what they have coming to them and justice is served.


over 10 years ago

At the end of the day I would focus your anger at people not considered "pro poker players". These people shoot every angle and will do anything to get your money. So it shouldnt be a shock that given the opportunity to steal a lot of peoples money... they jumped on it. Most of these people have no ethics beyond "Get the money" and I am kinda stunned that people seem to think otherwise. Everything they do.. from writing a book... to appearing on tv... even take that pic with you that one time was all designed for one thing.. get your money. Anyone that has played poker for any length of time has seen the people that go bust. No matter how good of a guy they are they all try to borrow money... some fools loan it to them and they never pay it back. Why? Cause you cant trust poker players with your money. I am sure some people are more ethical then others. Funny thing is the players on the list of thieves are the ones people actual would have considered ethical. So what does that tell you?? I mean people loved Ivey, Ferguson, Lederer and Annie Duke. If someone tells you they are a poker player... shake their hand but clutch your wallet.... thats just how it is.