Six major affiliates that promoted online poker sites have received a letter from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement instructing them to ‘immediately remove any online gaming links that are not authorized under federal law or under the law of any state.”  If they fail to remove these links, they will be subject prosecution under civil and criminal sanctions, according to the letter.

The letter said, in part, “This letter shall serve as official notice that your website, by offering links to sites which may be offering unauthorized online gaming, may be promoting activity that is contrary to New Jersey and federal law.”  It concluded saying, “The state of New Jersey reserves the right to pursue appropriate civil or criminal sanctions against you if you fail to take the requested actions.”

This letter was signed by George N Rover, Assistant Attorney General of the state.  It was sent to major affiliates who run popular websites, listed here:

  • CardsChat.com
  • PokerSource.com
  • RakeBrain.com
  • Pokersites.com
  • RaketheRake.com
  • One Unnamed Site

Kerry Langan, a spokesman for the Department of Gaming Enforcement said, “We believe this may either taint legitimate sites by associating them with the illegal ones, and conversely may lend the appearance that these illegal sites are affiliated with authorized sites.”

In my research of this issue, it seems there are a lot of mixed feelings about the move.  Some people (poker players as well as promoters) fear that any involvement by the Government in this industry will cause problems.  This may be related to the major crackdown of online gambling sites from several years ago where many players lost a significant amount of money.

On the other hand, many people believe that these top affiliates are holding too much power in the online gaming industry.  They have the contact information for all the top poker players, and have been known to ‘blacklist’ poker sites that don’t comply with their requests (or demands).  Of course, the online poker industry is a complex topic, which I’m not an expert on, so I can’t give a nuanced analysis of how this will impact the industry as a whole, or the specific affiliates involved.

For smaller affiliates promoting these types of sites, however, this should serve as a wakeup call.  If you’re promoting anything other than legitimate sites, you may want to look for alternatives before it catches up to you.

You can read the letter sent to one of the affiliates HERE.

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