More than a year after complaints began to surface by players who were unable to cash out funds from poker rooms on the Everleaf Poker Network, the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta (LGA) have finally pulled the company’s gaming license.
An apparent lack of cooperation by the LGA to resolve player claims over the past year has continued to escalate as some hundreds of thousands of dollars in player funds were in jeopardy and now definitely lost.
Protests by players about Everleaf’s non-payment (theft of player funds) to the LGA fell on deaf ears. The regulator even alleged that player protests were fake and that payments were made, only to take back that statement a month later.
Everleaf, who at the time were one of the few remaining poker networks to continue to service players from the United States after Black Friday but pulled the plug on the US market after a small amount of funds were seized from a third-party payment processor. Those players never got paid.
Everleaf likely stopped license payments to the LGA, which is why their license was suspended. There can’t be any other logical explanation for dragging it so long. The LGA have proven to be a rubber stamp regulator, at the bottom, with other non-responsive regulators.
A gaming license is supposed to provide some level of comfort and security to customers, but over the past couple of years, we have seen instances where small and large operators alike have left players dry.
At the end of the day, the integrity and financial health of the operator is key. If the operator cannot sustain their overhead, possible losses against the house in the case of casinos and sportsbooks, operating costs, and in the gambling industry, there are many extravagant costs – just think of a Vegas casino, they will likely fold.
Situations such as Everleaf’s closure, just one of several that continue to surface, serve to reaffirm to only work with reputable gambling companies. Look for signs of non-payment and treat those as red flags.
At the end of the day, remember, when you walk into any gambling establishment, whether it be land-based or online, you are taking a gamble.
License Suspension of Everleaf Gaming Limited
|Following investigations, and after having received all the information as requested by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (hereinafter the ‘Authority’) from Everleaf Gaming Limited’s Players, the Authority hereby notifies that the remote gaming licences LGA/CL1/665/2011 and LGA/CL3/230/2008 held by Everleaf Gaming Limited have been suspended as of 26th of July 2013.Everleaf Gaming Limited has thus been directed not to continue registering new players, not to take any further deposits, and not to offer any games falling under the Authority’s licences until further notice.Everleaf Gaming Limited operated a Class 3 on 4 licence (for Poker) and a Class 1 on 4 licence (for Casino) through URLs as provided in this link.Furthermore the Authority hereby notifies that any websites operated by Everleaf Gaming Limited or associated with Everleaf Gaming Limited and which make reference to the Authority or the above-quoted licences issued by the Authority are not approved by the Authority. Due to its suspension of licences, Everleaf Gaming Limited is therefore not authorised to continue conducting gaming by means of distance communications under an Authority Licence.As the Authority has collected all the necessary evidence pertaining to the case that was under investigation, the Authority notifies that no further information shall be released at this stage not to compromise any further investigations that may need to be performed by the competent authorities.|