Update: Absolute Poker Finally Issues Statement

Company stops activity in the US, but retains legal counsel

After other operators indicted in the US federal action a week ago, Absolute Poker has finally decided to make its position public and issue a statement regarding the recent developments.

It was specified in the statement that Blank Rome LLP has been retained as United States counsel to provide legal advice in relation to the indictments. It was also confirmed that the DoJ offered it a domain use deal, just like to Pokerstars and Full Tilt, but that it decided to complete a legal review before participating.

The statement also reads: “At this time, Absolute Poker's top priority is, and must be, the refund of balances to its and UB's US players. However, given the far-reaching consequences of the US Attorney's actions for Absolute Poker and for the entire poker community, Absolute Poker believes that the responsible course of action is to review with its attorneys the relevant court filings before taking any action."

Of course, a particular stress is put on the fact that players need to be paid, assessing it as "an immediate and pressing concern," and making it clear that the company is willing to cooperate with the US Attorney to safely and efficiently return its players' funds. "To that end, Absolute Poker's counsel has initiated communications with the US Attorney's office and plans to continue proactively advancing those discussions," it was concluded.

In related news, Pokerstars decided to help players by posting a "US Players FAQ" page which should keep US customers up to date on developments, and assure them that they will be paid and that tournament tickets can be converted into cash and withdrawn.

However, the results of the anti-online poker action are still being felt, with Game Show Network (GSN)'s decision to reduce its television coverage of poker to one night a week, explaining: “As a result of the indictments and by mutual agreement, PokerStars.net and Full Tilt Poker.net have withdrawn their presenting sponsorships, brand integrations and ads from GSN's poker programming. Beginning this weekend (April 23-24) our poker schedule will incorporate those and other changes, and we will evaluate additional adjustments to our schedule as warranted.”

In addition the company spokesman announced that the recently prepared new series of the Pokerstars Big Game will not be aired in the US, but that it will be available internationally and on the web through Pokerstars.tv.

Another story comes from a UK production house which ceased the filming of a television program titled The Poker Lounge experiencing a payment glitch with sponsor Full Tilt Poker. Still, the issue has been resolved and the production rescheduled for May 2011.

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