Poker Stars Hit Hardest by Asset Freeze

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PokerStars is the poker site hit the hardest by US authorities' squeeze on payment channels, according to data provided by monitoring site PokerScout.com.

Traffic to PokerStars was down 7% since 1 June, as the effect of the asset freeze by federal prosecutors of US poker player accounts, reported on EGRmagazine.com, begins to reveal itself.  

The main beneficiaries of the drift of US players away from PokerStars since the start of the month would appear to be Full Tilt and Cake Poker, where traffic was up 3% for both.

Full Tilt was hit by the freeze on echeque accounts of the past couple of weeks, but appeared to have stolen a march on its larger rival by getting its payment options back up and running at short notice by quickly drafting in replacement processors. Traffic at Cereus remained unchanged, indicating it had also managed to establish alternative arrangements.

PokerScout owner Dan Stewart told EGRmagazine.com: "Essentially, it shows that it pays to have back-up options in place, and whoever can recover from a shock like this the fastest stands to benefit."

Player postings on online forums allege PokerStars have been slow in reacting to the recent US asset freeze and bounced cheques debacle, likely not helped by its much larger player base than those of its competitors.

 Stewart said he expected PokerStars' traffic to recover since it began phasing echeque deposits back in last weekend. "I haven't seen a recovery yet, but I would expect to see it in the next few weeks," he said.

Traffic at PartyPoker was up 25% overall since 1 June, but Stewart said this was mostly down to its high-profile Million Dollar Hand promotion. Traffic to Playtech's iPoker network was up 3% since early June.

As reported on EGRmagazine.com, PartyPoker and 888 continue to be the most visible poker sites to American internet users despite no longer taking US bets, new research has revealed.

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