In a move that took many Canadian poker players by surprise, the Entraction Poker network – which includes poker rooms like Victor Chandler, NoIQ, and Bettson – announced that it will be banning fans based in Canada. Players in four other nations will be adversely affected by the pronouncement as well: those based in Norway, Russia, Turkey, and Israel will also no longer be allowed to participate in games on the network.
The reason for this move are unknown, as Entraction chose not to go into detail, but we believe it’s clear that the company is withdrawing from markets it sees as having any chance of undergoing further online poker legislation, and it doesn’t want to get caught in the middle of any future legal issues that may arise with active online poker operators doing business in those regions. Taking a cue from the lesson learned by online poker operators formerly doing business in the States, Entraction would want to stay far away from such issues and is likely using these bans to protect themselves from even the potential for legal complexities.
It may also be possible that the owners of the Entraction Poker network, IGT (International Game Technology), may be behind the decision in an effort to keep their noses spotlessly clean while waiting for online poker legislation in the U.S. to pan out.
Whether or not this pre-emptive business decision will prove to be wise or overkill remains to be seen. In the meantime, Canadian players should be prepared to look elsewhere for their online poker entertainment beginning on September 29.