Sports bettors had a rude awakening today. BetJamaica, a sportsbook under TheGreek umbrella, closed its doors today. BetJam, as it was referred to by sports bettors, was as solid as a sportsbook could be. As if that was not bad enough TheGreek sportsbook announced that they would no longer accept U.S. players effective immediately. They also banned existing U.S. players. Poker World, the Cake Poker Network skin owned by The Greek, has also banned U.S. players.
BetJamaica player balances appear to be safe. Players outside the U.S. have had their account balances moved to TheGreek. Players in the U.S. have had their balances moved to Heritage Sports. TheGreek’s U.S. player balances have also been moved to Heritage Sports. Some players have welcomed this as good news. Heritage Sports is an invite only sportsbook. They have not accepted new players since June 2007 unless they were referred by an established Heritage Sports player. Now players that may not have ever gotten an account at Heritage Sports can get one.
Players that have pending bets will have them honored by Heritage Sports. This includes all futures bets. Higher volume players have concerns about the betting limits at Heritage Sports as well as their ability to process large cashouts. Many players have reported long wait times attempting to contact support at Heritage Sports.
Players at Poker World will likely be able to move their Gold Cards and Gold Chips to Cake Poker. That has been the case when other skins left the network for stopped accepting U.S. players. At this point it is wait and see.
The timing of this decision is very suspicious. Why would a sportsbook ban U.S. players right before football season? Why would any company make such a big decision at the end of business on a Friday? They had to know it would cause hysteria in the industry. The baseball All Star break would have made more sense to do this. U.S. deposits were accepted up until the last minute which leads me to believe there is more to this story as it seems to be without notice or warning. Monday should bring more answers about this situation.