10 Years Since the Infamous Online Poker Shutdown

April 15, 2011, marks a significant date in the world of online poker as it was the day that the United States government suspended online poker in the country, in what was later coined as “Black Friday.” This event had a significant impact on the online poker industry, affecting players, professionals, and businesses alike. In this post, we will delve into the background of online poker in the US, the legal and regulatory developments leading up to Black Friday, and the consequences of the event on the industry as a whole.

Section 1: Background

Before Black Friday, online poker was a thriving industry in the US, with millions of players across the country. However, it had a tumultuous history, with legal challenges and regulatory complexities leading up to the event. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) passed in 2006 played a significant role in the legal landscape of online poker in the US.

Section 2: Black Friday

On April 15th, 2011, the US government seized the assets of several online poker companies, including Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, and suspended their operations in the country. This event had a significant impact on the industry, with players losing access to their funds, professionals losing their source of income, and businesses collapsing. The legal battles in the aftermath of the shutdown have been ongoing, creating uncertainty in the industry.

Section 3: The Aftermath

The perception of online poker has been forever changed since Black Friday, with the event casting a shadow on the industry as a whole. However, offshore sites emerged, providing opportunities for players who were affected by the suspension of online poker in the US. Legislative developments since Black Friday have been slow, but progress has been made, with several states legalizing online poker. The future of online poker in the US remains uncertain, with the possibility of federal legalization still on the table.


As we reflect on the 10-year anniversary of Black Friday, we can see the lasting impact that the event had on the online poker industry. The shutdown highlighted the need for proper regulation and oversight of online gambling in the US. The aftermath of Black Friday has provided opportunities for innovation and growth, but the road ahead remains uncertain. We can only hope that legislative developments will provide a clear path towards a regulated and safe online gambling environment in the US.

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