In the latest development in the Kentucky online gambling battle, the newly formed Cereus network announced Monday that its services would no longer be available to people within the state of Kentucky. The pull-out comes before the scheduled December 12th seizure trial, where the fate of the remaining domain names still allowing Kentucky citizens access to their sites, out of the initial targeted 141, will be decided.
The Cereus network is made up of two websites, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet. Members of their site received an email declaring the news on Monday morning. Players residing in Kentucky were still able to withdraw their funds through the website, but were no longer able to even open the software from a computer with a Kentucky IP address.
Joe Brennan, CEO of the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA), was not impressed with Cereus’s move. As quoted in a statement to Poker News Daily, Brennan said, “Pulling out of the Kentucky market, especially in advance of the December 12th hearing, means that they are bowing to Kentucky’s demands without going to the hearing. The seizure hearing has been stayed by the Court of Appeals, so there’s no reason for them to leave. Doing anything in advance of the December 12th hearing is premature.”
Cereus’ move follows that of other poker websites, such as Cake Poker. PokerStars, Full Tilt, and Bodog are among the sites still accepting Kentucky residents.