Options for online players in the United States have just decreased as the Everleaf Network will announce on Friday that they are withdrawing out of both the United States and France following the seizing of funds by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
According to and article on PokerFuse.com, a source with Minted Poker revealed that the restriction of US and French players follows the closing of a US payment processor and the seizure of funds by the Department of Homeland Security. In addition, the network was written a letter to cease operation in the US or face criminal prosecution.
The network did seek the counsel of the Lottery and Gaming Authority of Malta and they recommended that the site also pull out of the market. As such, the terms of service has been updated and players from France, Malta, and the United States are currently banned from playing at the site.
The impact on United States players will actually be somewhat minimal as less than 20% of their total player base at peak hours came from the US. According to PokerScout.com, the network currently ranks 27th worldwide with a 24 hour peak of 873 cash game players. The network was the fifth ranked network in the world out of those that still accept US players.
Whether or not there is more behind this story remains to be seen. Considering that much larger networks continue to operate in spite of potential seizure by the DOJ, one has to wonder if there was more going on with the payment processor that was forced to shut down. Also, why did the DHS get involved rather than the DOJ? We will bring more on this story should additional details arise.