Thursday August 9,2012 : BLANCA GAMES POKER PLAYERS MAY BE AMONG THE LAST FOR PAYMENT
Advisory from the KGC indicates Blanca licence was not renewed in June
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission generated extensive media coverage Wednesday with a statement on the situation regarding its former licensee, Absolute Poker and UltimateBet operator and owner Blanca Games.
Blanca was impacted badly by the Black Friday closure of Absolute Poker, along with a slew of related companies and brands that included Absolute Poker, Ultimate Bet, Absolute Entertainment SA, Hoop & Javelin Holdings Limited, Lacrosse Holdings Limited, Hoop Payment Solution Services Limited and Morning Bliss Overseas Limited.
The now moribund online poker company did not renew its KGC licence when it expired in June, the advisory notice reveals, distancing the Commission from the company and its future activities.
Last month the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York filed a settlement agreement regarding Absolute Poker and associated companies for the approval of the courts, and the KGC advisory references this commenting:
"The proposed settlement requires all of Blanca’s assets to be forfeited to the United States. The US Marshalls’ office will be mandated to liquidate Blanca’s assets. However, there will be no distribution of the net proceeds from the liquidation pending the resolution of claims filed by other parties who have asserted an ownership interest in Blanca’s assets.
"If the court approves the settlement, and if there are Blanca assets remaining after the resolution of the claims by other parties, it is anticipated that the court will provide a process for players to make claims against those assets. At present the Commission has no information as to how players should make such a claim. However, the general victim information number provided by the US Attorney in Manhattan is 1-866-874-8900."
Blanca assets presumably include the software and player bases used by the Cereus Network on which Absolute and UB Poker ran.
Founded by internet entrepreneur Stuart Gordon, Blanca Games acquired the Cereus Poker Network in August 2010 for an undisclosed consideration and following the monumental cheating scandals which had in earlier years engulfed the main poker sites on the network.
According to press material from Blanca at the time, it agreed to take over network operations, software, and both of Cereus' online poker brands, Absolute Poker and UltimateBet.
Gordon commented then: “The acquisition of Cereus is a significant opportunity for us. Cereus is a major platform of well-managed assets. Over the past few years, it has created new brands, like ub.com, that are extremely well-positioned in the most desirable demographic in our market: players in the 20s and 30s age brackets.
“From our perspective, we have acquired a large, sophisticated online gaming operation with state-of-the art capabilities, ranging from compliance to business intelligence to online marketing to customer service. We see a tremendous growth opportunity in this deal and beyond, as Blanca seeks additional acquisitions in the market."
Gordon, who also founded Bingomania and Helix Gaming, said that Blanca Games was established to make acquisitions in the online gaming industry.