Tuesday July 30,2013 : EVERLEAF POKER NETWORK SUSPENDED BY MALTA REGULATOR
After months of excuses and unpaid players, the LGA finally acts.
The Lotteries and Gaming Authority – Malta's online gambling regulator – has developed a reputation among players for being insensitive to their difficulties with defaulting operators; lugubrious in reaction to issues; and poor at communication, but this week it finally lost patience with the long-running failures at Everleaf Poker Network and suspended the network's licence.
It was not before time; Everleaf has been showing signs of financial difficulties for over eighteen months following its departure from the US market under threats by the US enforcement authorities and e-cash processing issues.
The suspension carries with it a requirement that the operator desists from offering any games licensed by Malta; and may not register new players or take any fresh player deposits.
In a terse statement issued Monday, the LGA, which claims it has been involved in a protracted investigation of the issues around Everleaf, announced:
“Everleaf Gaming Limited is not authorised to continue conducting gaming by means of distance communications under an Authority Licence.”
Based on past performance in cases like the Purple Lounge poker disaster, it is unlikely that the regulator will assist players, who are now at the mercy of the operator in terms of amounts owed.
It's not the first time that the LGA has taken action against Everleaf – well over a year ago it slapped unspecified "sanctions" on the operator, accusing Everleaf of undetailed but several "irregularities".
The action did not stop the network from continuing to take players' money, however, and it could therefore be argued that it was less than effective in protecting consumers.
Despite empirical evidence to the contrary, the LGA appeared to believe that Everleaf was catching up on paying its players earlier this year, issuing another of its typically brief statements to assert that most players with outstanding payments had been settled, and that claims of continued non-payment were questionable.
Everleaf's future course is now uncertain; the company has yet to issue its response to the licence suspension