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Merge is home to a number of individual poker sites, most notably Carbon Poker.
I contacted Carbon Poker support and was told that “Regrettably, we no longer offer online gaming services to members in New Jersey and Delaware. This decision was made after much consideration.”
Support confirmed that it’s not simply a matter of new accounts being refused, but that existing accounts are also being closed.
Players on Poker.org and TwoPlusTwo both recounted their direct experience with attempting to log on to a Merge site only to be told their accounts were “suspended.”
Upon contacting support, players were informed that their account “has been banned as per restrictions set in your state.”
Most posters in the TwoPlusTwo thread are relatively new to the forum, but one regular poster – MR_UNOWEN – confirmed that he had a similar experience, writing:
I just emailed them, though; and I was told I was no longer eligible to play although I did a bit this morning. Yeah, though, it would seem just a matter of cashing out now. … I just received an email stating that they initiated a manual withdraw for me which has a processing time of 3 – 8 weeks. Gg, Carbon!
Another poster from Delaware recounted an identical experience.
But a NJ player on PokerHost – which shares players with the Merge Network but operates on a separate payment processing platform – reported on TwoPlusTwo that PokerHost support specifically told him that players from Delaware and New Jersey remain welcome there.
One of the by-products of regulating online gambling in New Jersey and Delaware was to make unregulated online gambling explicitly illegal to operate. But that’s unlikely to be the sole motivation behind the decision.
Instead, payment processing – in terms of cost and difficulty – is probably the primary driver of this policy shift by Merge.