The online Pokers sites shutdown by The Department of Justice involved an indictment, accusing the owners of 3 of the largest online poker sites of bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling so how are the other smaller sites handling this? Well Victory Poker responded by asking network provider to block U.S. players. Victory Poker was first established in February 2010 when it launched on the Everleaf Network and then moved to the Cake Poker Network in September 2010 and over the past year, Victory Poker has been called one of the most successful new sites to enter the online poker industry. CEO Dan Fleyshman is one of just a handful of identifiable online poker executives in the industry. And he’s here today with Judie Russell to answer some questions for us.
- What were your initial reactions and thoughts on what happened last Friday and did you have any indication at all that this was going to happen now?
- You posted on Twitter that you “Don’t want to mess with the U.S. government; they’re angry at the ‘Big 3’ for a reason.” This sounds like you believe there is one specific reason, can you tell us what you think this is?
- You requested the Cake Poker Network to block US players from your site on Sunday. Why did you act so fast?
- So many of the smaller sites who weren’t targeted are remaining in the market including Bodog Poker where traffic is up 25%. Did you at all consider sticking around to try and pick up some market share regardless? And what was the deciding factor? And what do you think is the fate of the remaining sites that aren’t leaving the US market and are stepping into the vacuum that now exists?
- You said that 2/3 of your customers are international so you shouldn’t be affected too much. So you’ve lost 1/3 of your customers, do you expect this to make up for this with international players? And do you have a strategy in place to counter the loss?
- Existing land-based gaming companies need an online dance partner more so now than ever since their pending alliances were compromised so next they’ll be turning to online gaming firms that have their hands “clean” or don’t take bets from Americans. Do you think that you’ve already crossed yourself off the list of potential candidates since you still operated in the US after the UIGEA or do you think that by dropping out on Monday you might still stand a chance?
- What do you think is the future of online poker in the US? Is it going to be legalized relatively soon?
- How intense would you expect the competition among sites to be if the US market opens up completely, and is that what land-based casinos and people such as yourself are expecting?
- Victory Poker signed top flight poker professionals such as Antonio Esfandiari, Jonathan Little, Paul Wasicka, and veteran poker player Lee Markholt. Have you cancelled your sponsorship with these players in light of Friday’s news?
- And finally do you bet on sports? Or do you have anything to say about how this might affect online sports betting now or in the future?”
That’s Dan Fleyshman of Victory Poker.