These are nervous times for online poker players after the passing of UIGEA. It seems that after American funds were frozen at Neteller, players are always expecting the other shoe to drop. Players received a bit of a scare recently when people on 2+2 and Pocketfives started talking about how their banks were returning Pokerstars checks, citing "insufficient funds." Obviously, rumors started to spread, with some people even questioning the financial stability of Pokerstars.
After some investigating, we have ascertained that this is a bank-specific issue. Citizens Bank has been flagging and returning checks that they deem to be tied to online gambling. The reason that they are giving is that there were "insufficient funds", even though this is not the case. Pokerstars is probably the best-capitalized of all the poker rooms, and they hold all of their clients money in trust accounts which can not be touched. This is also not a check processor issue.
Citizens Bank is a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland, which has publicly stated that it would be taking a hard-line stance to online gambling transactions post-UIGEA. If you are a client of Citizens Bank and have tried to cash an online gambling check, then you have likely been a victim of the company's new hard-line stance.
So what to do if you have had your check rejected by Citizens Bank? Open up a new bank account at another bank. Then, contact Pokerstars Customer Support and have them cancel the old check and re-issue you another one. Deposit it at your new bank, and the problem should be solved.
Filed Under: Online Poker Rooms