Weekly Roundup February 19 2016

Weekly Roundup February 19 2016

Western Union Says Federal Government Probing Company

Western Union stated in a company filing this week that the federal government is probing whether it was known that illegal gambling companies were using its service. Costa Rica, Panama, Peru and the Dominican Republic were among the countries involved in these transactions, according to the Denver Post.  The feds are investigating whether Western Union knowingly violated anti money laundering rules. The company is cooperating with the inquiry.

Western Union is a cash transfer service that processes payments in minutes.  Some players have reported poker sites have lowered the maximum withdrawal through this method and MoneyGram, a competing cash transfer company.

Iovation Approved for a Nevada Gaming License

Iovation was approved for a Nevada gaming license on Thursday by the Nevada Gaming Commission.  The company will supply geolocation services to interactive gaming companies in the state.

The decision was controversial in the online poker world.  Iovation was a spin-off of the company that developed the UltimateBet software.  This platform was used by insiders to cheat players out of more than $20 million.  Travis Makar leaked recordings he says show Greg Pierson, CEO of Iovation, discussing the cheating scandal and ways to cover it up with Russ Hamilton, the player widely accused of being the main culprit. Pierson denies any wrongdoing.

Full Tilt and PokerStars to Merge Player Pools

PokerTube was first to report this week that PokerStars will merge Full Tilt into the world’s largest poker site.  The move will occur later in 2016.  The Full Tilt software will be retired.  The brand will become a PokerStars skin.

Full Tilt Poker has struggled since it relaunched in November 2012.  It was once the second largest poker site in the world.  It has since fallen to 11th place, according to PokerScout.  PokerStars has been unable to come up with a plan to make Full Tilt a viable site.

Winamax Player Erroneously Receives Seven-Figure Balance

Winamax accidentally paid a player €1,546,522.16 instead of €1.82 after a win.  The erroneous balance corresponds with the player’s ID number, which is apparently the mistake made by support staff.  Le-requin34 was the player affected by this. He gambled away €3,000 and withdrew €9,000.  The site agreed to waive the €3,000 but demanded the €9,000 returned.  The player has refused to return that money at this time.

Washington Online Poker Bill Fails

Washington state’s online poker bill failed for a second straight year.  The draft was unable to receive a committee hearing.  There was no interest in the state for repealing is online poker prohibition.  It is currently a felony to play online poker in the state.  This was passed to protect the state’s gaming industry.  Attention now turns to a daily fantasy sports bill in Washington that is still pending.

Merge Gaming Eliminates HUDs

Merge Gaming, which includes Carbon Poker, Sportsbook.ag and PlayersOnly, stopped allowing hand histories to be saved on computers.  This, in turn, makes it impossible to use HUDs.  Merge Gaming made this decision to level the playing field at its site.  Other recent changes include the removal of a player notes feature and the ending of access to Sharkscope for sit and go and tournament information.