Hero Poker, part of the Merge Gaming Network, will stop accepting new US players as of May 25, 2011. Existing accounts and those that create new accounts prior to the deadline will be allowed to continue playing on the skin.
The announcement was made in a post on 2+2 by the CEO of Hero Poker, David Jung. He specified the decision to stop accepting American players was “voluntary” and “independent of the Merge Network.” He also cited the reason for ceasing new account creation by Americans was to allow Hero Poker to, “focus on upgrading [their] overall boutique service and general security of all [their] players.” He went on to state that the players on Hero Poker:
deserve and have a right to the highest degree of corporate transparency and responsible management. For Hero, that is simply not possible if Hero Poker continues to allow signups from the US.
Forum poster “The Raiderr” posed the question of how servicing new accounts from a particular country required a higher service level than servicing existing accounts. Jung replied citing “risk” as the underlying factor in his decision. He further indicated that keeping that risk small by limiting the numbers of US players he was in a better position to manage that risk.
The cutoff of US players was not immediate to allow:
players already in communication with Hero a few days to further consider. If there is a mad rush of sign-ups by players attempting to create an ‘insurance’ account, we will stop US registration earlier.
Hero Poker plans to serve Australian players. That is in direct contrast to the Merge Gaming Network which is restricted by its Australian-based ownership. Though Hero Poker is not owned by Australians the recent political climate in that country may pose a similar risk to that in the US.