Poker Players Alliance Silent: Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars Stop eCheck Deposits

Written by:
Alejandro Botticelli
Published on:
online poker echecks

PokerStars has stopped accepting eCheck deposits in both New York state and Florida as of Tuesday, players report.  Meanwhile, payout problems persist at both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, the two largest online poker rooms in the world. 

The Poker Players Alliance remains mostly silent on this issue, which has the Internet poker community deeply concerned. 

It is important to point out that both online poker rooms are working to get this matter resolved.  The problem:  A major payment processor was forced to shut down due to a US Government investigation being conducted out of Baltimore, Maryland.  That investigation has been ongoing for approximately three years now.

“Other online gambling websites are being impacted but PokerStars and Full Tilt have such a huge chunk of the market that is being flooded with reader inquiries primarily involving these two sites,” noted Payton O’Brien, Senior Editor of the website. 


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A close source tells  “Things were good on the processing front for a number of months now and these sites got caught off guard and became lackadaisical.”

Now they are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, presumably trying to locate new and trusted payment processors. 

“This is a time for the Poker Players Alliance to step up and start getting more involved in what is going on with these payment processors and stop focusing so heavily on local gambling convictions,” said Chris Costigan, Publisher of the website.  “They need to communicate better with their members, the poker players, and keep players in the loop.  There is major concern and the PPA is not addressing these concerns adequately.”

In 2009, the Honorable Judge Laura Taylor Swain handed down a precedent-setting decision in the New York Circuit Court in favor of declaring that the US Government was not entitled to withhold information from electronic media news sites related to sealed indictments.

“We made a decision not to pursue further legal motions following Judge Taylor Swain’s ruling as we anticipated the PPA and other well-funded industry media outlets, some of them closely aligned with the PPA, would step up to the plate and file similar actions in Baltimore,” Costigan said.  “That hasn’t happened and now everyone is left in the dark.”

What was the latest press release issued by the Poker Players Alliance?

“Poker Players Alliance Optimistic about Working with New Congress” (01/06/2011)

“We’re a few weeks into 2011, the PPA needs to be more aggressive and, at this time, more retroactive,” says Costigan.  “Right now just about everything seems to be hinging on New Jersey (where an online poker legalization bill passed through the state assembly and could be signed into law any day now).  “The Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association has gotten behind the state’s efforts in that fight on the legal front.  The PPA has got to get on the ball and focus more on these federal investigations.”


Fears Mount Over PokerStars Check Problems on Tuesday


A surge in traffic was coming to the website related to PokerStars payment problems with their popular eCheck platform, O’Brien reports late Tuesday.

“PokerPlayers is double the size of its next biggest competitor, Full Tilt Poker, so this issue is having a major impact on the Internet poker world right now.  Pay attention PPA.”

As of Tuesday evening, it was being reported that PokerStars was no longer accepting eChecks or credit cards from the state of New York, where another ongoing investigation has been underway.  This was also a region rocked by the arrests of 127 Mob associates last Thursday with at least one individual named in the complaint tied to online gambling.  His association, however, did not appear linked to online card rooms but rather the sports betting sector.

From PokerStars:

"eCheck deposits are currently unavailable in your state. We apologize for any inconvenience; please rest assured we are reviewing this matter. In the meantime, please use any available alternative deposit method; if you require assistance with depositing.”

PokerStars Florida customers are reporting the same issue as of press time.

- Alejandro Botticelli,

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