Merge Gaming Bans Players From New Jersey and DelawareWednesday, January 29th, 2014 by Ryan
Things are just getting worse and worse for some of the online gambling networks out there, and one specifically seems to still be spiraling downwards right now. As you probably know, online poker has been regulated and there are different sites and networks that are currently up and running in a few states, including New Jersey and Delaware. Things have been growing for most of the different sites who are regulated in those states, but another network has now decided to ban players who are from New Jersey and Delaware, and this would be the Merge Gaming Network.
It just hasn’t been going well for the Merge Gaming Network, and at this rate they won’t remain relevant for very much longer. They’ve had a major fall lately, and while their drops have come all over the place, the most recent decision is actually a good one by the network. The network decided late last week that they were going to ban customers from New Jersey and Delaware from any room that falls under their network.
As you probably know, Merge is one of the few networks that still allows most online poker players to still play on their sites from the United States, but they are fading away from that it seems. How they decided to do this though probably wasn’t their finest work. They didn’t make any type of formal or public announcement about the decision to do this, and that resulted in a pretty big backlash and a whole lot of confusion.
Players were simply locked out of their accounts on Thursday, and when you get locked out you usually find that there is at least a message that is attached to you being locked up. This message would typically explain what happened with your account and why you are locked out. The message that came up to all of these players was one that probably caused a bit of a freak out, as it simply stated that the account had been suspended for security reasons. This means that players who had used well-known sites such as Carbon Poker, GR88.com, and Aced.com all thought about the many different things that could have potentially happened with not only their accounts, but with the site as a whole. It was not a “security issue” though, as the messages said that it was, but instead it was just a legal issue.
The issue related directly with the fact that poker was regulated in these states, and as you know, licenses are required in order to offer online gambling to any player who plays in the borders of the state. Obviously, Merge, and none of the sites under the network have the license that is needed to offer their games to these players. This led to the network deciding to simply leave the states and avoid any type of legal issues, which was definitely a smart move on their part.
Merge had been doing exactly what PokerStars and Full Tilt were doing in the past, which was operating in the United States with the risk still being attached. They felt that as long as online gambling isn’t illegal in a specific site then they could still offer their games. It’s not just New Jersey and Delaware that aren’t allowed to play on Merge, as they also had left multiple other states before this. These states include Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Washington, and Washington, D.C.
The fall in terms of traffic has just continued for Merge though, as they rank 25th in cash game traffic, and have a seven-day average of 350 players, which could even get lower after dropping from these two states. They actually aren’t too far ahead of Party Borgata, which is New Jersey’s largest network, who averages 260 players over a seven-day average. WSOP.com also comes in with a nice 220 players on a seven-day average.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the numbers for Merge after leaving these two networks, but it looks like it could be quite a drop. We’ll keep you updated on any news that comes out about the decision for Merge to leave these two states, and also about the online poker that is offered in the United States as well.