Online Poker
Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Mansion Poker Latest To Drop U.S. Market

BY TOM SOMACH

Mansion Poker has become the latest Internet poker room to pull out of the U.S. market.

The Gibraltar-based website, one of the largest online poker sites in the world, said Tuesday it would no longer allow customers in the USA to play for real money at its real-money poker site (www.mansionpoker.com).

American customers may continue to play at Mansion Poker’s play-money poker site (www.mansionpoker.net), the company said.

Mansion Poker hasn’t yet made an official or formal announcement about its change in policy.

www.PokerHelper.com learned about the change after some American customers of Mansion Poker posted on an online poker chat forum and said they’d just been told by Mansion that they could no longer play there for real money because Mansion had just decided to ban U.S. clientele.

www.PokerHelper.com called Mansion Poker in Gibraltar to confirm the story and a customer service representative for the online poker room said it is true.

The rep also told www.PokerHelper.com that Mansion Poker’s U.S. customers will soon receive an e-mail from the company, formally announcing the change in policy.

A note explaining the move may also appear on the company’s website, he said.

Most of the company’s business was from the American market, the customer service representative said.

“Who knows what will happen to us now,” the rep said. “Most of our customers are in the United States, and they can no longer play with us.

“I don’t anticipate us going out of business, but you never know,” the rep continued. “I guess we’ll just have to concentrate on other markets, like Europe and Asia.”

The rep also said he didn’t know whether, with the loss of the American market and all that business, the company will have to undergo mass layoffs of customer service and other personnel.

“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s not something I’ve really thought about. I hope not.”

Other online poker rooms in recent months have announced they were pulling out of the U.S. market, but all those announcements came right after the U.S. Congress passed legislation last fall banning American financial institutions from making financial transactions involving overseas online gambling sites.

Mansion Poker’s pull-out, however, is the first since Internet money processor NETeller (www.neteller.com) announced earlier this month it is pulling out of the U.S. market.

The NETeller announcement came right after NETeller’s founders were busted by the U.S. Feds on gambling and money laundering charges.

“A lot of our U.S. customers used NETeller,” the Mansion Poker customer service representative told www.PokerHelper.com.

“With Congress passing that law and now all this happening with NETeller, the bosses here decided it was time to get out of the U.S. market,” he added.

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