Unregulated Bitcoin Poker Site Causes a Stir Online

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The world of Bitcoin Poker, just like any gambling sector online, is a big community. And in such a big online landscape, there are bound to be both operators who run legitimate businesses as well as those who operate outside of trusted regulation. A site belonging to the latter category, Jao Poker, has recently caused a stir in the Bitcoin Poker community after reportedly shutting down doors abruptly and freezing players’ balances, only to re-open days later with a short official update and an explanation from one of its promoters on Facebook.

Site Closes, Leaves Players Without Money

According to online reports, troubles for Jao Poker players began about a week ago when a user on the Two Plus Two poker forum nicknamed “zxjaexz” raised the alarm by saying that s/he wasn’t able to withdraw $1,550 worth of Bitcoin for weeks. According to the poster, the Bitcoin withdrawal was requested on February 3rd after which Jao Poker sent an email to the user saying the money will be processed within 3 business days. A number of e-mails and 3 weeks later, the user didn’t receive any money nor a reply from the Poker site.

The post was followed by a screenshot of a message posted on Facebook from one of Jao Poker’s most prominent promoters Tam Nguyen. The message read that Nguyen didn’t “have anyones money” and that he didn’t own the site. Explaining he was only a promotor, Nguyen also said” that “it was good while it lasted” and that “there are many other sites to be promoted and played on”, ending his update with “Goodluck to everyone”.

Previous posts on the forum show suspicion from users on whether the site is worth joining and how legitimate it is, with one user saying that the site is “gonna go down in flames” and another user suggesting to others to “stay far far far away from the site and owners”.

Site Goes Back Up Again

According to online reports, an e-mail update was sent to members after the site closed which said that Jao Poker will inform them of any updates on player balances and the site in the community poker chat. While players were stricken with confusion over the fate of their money, later it was revealed that the site hadn’t actually closed but only underwent a security update. There was no statement posted on the News section of the website but Nguyen posted a video on Facebook that explained the error and also raised even more concerns.

According to Nguyen, who removed his previous post which hinted that the site went down, it was a communication error that allowed the update to go forward without warning players beforehand. However, these words might have ended up being reassuring if Nguyen didn’t continue to say in his video that “If you have a few hundred don’t worry about it. If it really kills because you have a couple of hundred on the site and have to pay bills, be responsible with your money”

Currently, it is unknown whether anyone still holds funds on the website or whether they can be withdrawn. But Jao Poker’s “error” is only one of many examples of what happens when you play at a site that isn’t regulated by any trusted authority. Although it holds a license in Cambodia (available on the site in Cambodian only), sticking to sites regulated in trusted jurisdictions like America’s Cardroom is one way of avoiding such “errors” when gambling online.

February 28, 2018: • No Comments

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