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PokerStars and Fox Bet players are displeased with their customer experience right now. Since Friday, the sites were offline for maintenance and remained so today.
Many of those online gamblers took to social media to complain, with most of their concern revolving around lost recreational opportunities on Friday night.
In the US online poker and casino space, PokerStars and Fox Bet have a lot of customers. PokerStars takes deposits in Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Fox Bet Casino is in the Garden and Keystone states. Fox Bet Sportsbook operates in all three, plus Colorado.
Since their acquisition by Flutter, both brands are under the same roof as FanDuel, one of the big three operators in the US. Flutter itself is now the world’s largest online gambling company. As such, it seems to have shocked customers that PokerStars and Fox Bet would have such prolonged technical issues.
At 7:59 p.m., Eddie Motl, Fox Bet vice president of communications, told Online Poker Report:
“Wanted to provide you with the good news that we are back up and running in all states.”
He added the company’s official statement:
“We are back up and running with FOX Bet Sportsbook, PokerStars and Stars Casino in all states. Functionality of our Casino offering via website will be forthcoming. We’ve started the process to settle bets and review outstanding free bets, as well as promotions. We will be in touch directly with customers soon. We apologize again for the inconvenience.”
At 2 p.m., PokerStars players in Pennsylvania appeared to be able to play Spin and Go. However, it suggested downloading the app for gamblers who already had it installed. Stars Casino was still listed as down for maintenance. Fox Bet Sportsbook appeared to be accepting bets.
Twitter accounts for PokerStars and Stars Casino still listed the sites as needing maintenance, but the sportsbook had new posts replacing the previously pinned maintenance notice.
As of 10 a.m. on Feb. 8, PokerStars and Stars Casino were still down for maintenance when viewed from Philadelphia.
Online Poker Report also logged into Fox Bet Sportsbook, which appeared to be working. Odds, live bets and more appeared to be happening in Pennsylvania.
However, Fox Bet still had maintenance messages pinned to the top of their Twitter accounts.
A spokesman from Fox Bet, to whom Flutter directed questions, responded to Online Poker Report today.
Eddie Motl, Fox Bet vice president of communications, said (emphasis his):
“The one thing that we need to ensure customers is that all accounts are absolutely safe and that they can access and manage their accounts right now, if needed. This was not a cyber-attack, data breach or anything like that.”
In the international market, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against online poker rooms and other gambling sites have been a persistent problem. They’ve been less common in the US, however, and the current outage doesn’t show the telltale signs of one.
He also provided OPR with the company’s official statement:
“Our sites are currently down to an unscheduled maintenance issue and our tech team is working hard to get all back up and running ASAP. Customers across all verticals (FOX Bet Sportsbook, PokerStars & Stars Casino) can still manage their accounts. We do not anticipate any impacts to customer account balances – this is not a data breach. We thank customers for their patience and apologize for this inconvenience.”
At 5:16 p.m. on Friday, when a fair amount of Americans finish work in the Eastern time zone, those players saw this tweet from @PokerStarsUSA:
“MI/NU [sic]/PA players: Due to unscheduled maintenance, all MTT’s have been cancelled until Monday at 10am EST. Our apologies for the inconvenience and thanks for your patience.”
“NU” was intended to be “NJ,” which the company corrected in its next tweet. NU was a typo, tweeted @PokerStarsUSA.
In Pennsylvania today, the PokerStars site still reads:
“Our Apologies! PokerStars is currently under maintenance. For the time being, you can still manage your account by signing in. For urgent requests please contact Support. Thank you for your patience.”
Nearly identical text appears on Fox Bet:
“Our Apologies! Our site is currently under maintenance. You can still manage your account through our mobile app. For urgent requests contact support. Thank you for your patience.”
The company’s customers are unhappy, and they’re making their feelings known on social media. The problems seem to have been building slowly.
On Jan. 28, a Fox Bet user complained that live betting on soccer was suddenly unavailable.
On Feb 2, a player told the @FOXBetCare account that the web casino wasn’t working for him.
Today, a tweet to @StarsSupport read:
“Too bad your app has been down for a half a week and y’all won’t tell us why. Aside from ‘it’ll be good to go Monday.’ Lmao what a joke. I hope you lose tons of business. Ridiculous.”
The company replied:
“Hi mark, our site is currently undergoing some maintenance that is taking longer than expected. Unfortunately we do not have an exact time frame. However, please be aware that our technical team is working to resolve/finish this ASAP. We are sorry for inconvenience. Regards ˇNV”
As of this afternoon, customer support workers were mainly reassuring PokerStars and Fox Bet gamblers that their account balances and personal data were secure.
“We can assure you this is in no way related to any type of site breach,” reads a tweet from @PokerStarsUSA. “All players’ balances and personal information is completely safe.”
Flutter investors don’t seem to be concerned. The company’s stock is up more than 4% today.