The Merge Gaming Network will be allowing American players to sign-up at their 60+ skins within a week. This news comes on the heels of Sportsbook.com allowing US-based sign ups yesterday. Other skins should follow including RPM Poker, Lock Poker, and Carbon Poker. This is some of the most promising news since the Department of Justice cracked down on American online poker back in April. Since then PokerStars is the only site that has been able to process payments to American players, while those playing at FullTilt and the CEREUS Network have been left out in the cold.
The Merge Network closed its doors to American sign-ups in June, but allowed US-based players already playing to continue to do so. The network cited many reasons for cutting of registrations including a major back-log in processing payouts. Over the past few months, the Merge Network and their skins have been able to process the majority of their payouts, albeit at a slow pace. For some, checks have taken up to six weeks to reach their mailbox.
Merge currently ranks as one of the top-10 poker networks in the world, and is clearly the #1 site still servicing American players. They are joined by Bodog and Cake poker as the three biggest networks allowing American players to enjoy the game. There should be a large influx of American players who have been looking to get back into poker since April 15th. Those signing up at Merge will find solid bonuses and a decent offering of games. Their weekly Sunday $100,000 Guaranteed highlights their tournament series, and should only grow as more players sign up on the Merge Network.
Only time will tell if this is a good move for those running Merge. They could gain a large amount of new players, increasing traffic and revenue. However, with more players comes more scrutiny from the US government. If they can continue to process payouts legally, Merge will continue to be the place to play for Americans.