02/10/2012 : New terms and conditions appear to exclude players from Malta, France and the United States
One of the online poker industry's smaller networks, Everleaf Gaming, this week started requiring players to accept new terms and conditions that appear to exclude action from Malta, France and the United States.
Clause 18 of the new T&Cs states: "No person who is resident in Malta, France and USA may open an account, play, or in any other way participate in the ELG offerings and/or services."
Players speculated that recent enforcement actions in the United States, which have attacked payment processors, may be behind the decision. Others pointed out that Everleaf has been slow on pay-outs in recent weeks and could be feeling the pressure against its financial systems.
Some credence was given to the former when a spokesman from one of Everleaf's skins, Minted Poker, revealed that the network had reached the decision after discussions with its licensing authority – the LGA in Malta – and the suggestion that US official pressure had been brought to bear.
In the absence of a proper exit strategy, fully informing players what is going on and how the exclusions will be handled in account closing and financial terms, the player community could be excused for feeling confused, especially in light of the fact that US action on the network is continuing.
Clarification will hopefully be forthcoming in a company statement at some point.
Whether the LGA policy will impact other US-friendly online poker providers licensed on the island is unknown; Everleaf is reportedly vulnerable because its servers are on Malta, whereas – for example – the Merge Network carries dual Malta and Kahnawake licensing, but its servers are not within the Malta jurisdiction.