From DDoS attacks on Winimax, a French platform committed to delivering top-notch poker action, to Cercle Clichy-Montmarte, things haven’t been exactly going well for the country’s poker aficionados and business owners. The latest blow was the closure of the aforementioned property, which will definitely come with its short-term adverse effects.
The Cercles of Poker Joy Shut Down
It was first reported that online operator Winimax had experienced a massive DDoS attack that had brought its services to a crawl temporarily. Thankfully, nothing actually happened to the platform nor any security breaches had been reported. It just goes to show how seriously the best operators take your safety and their own for that matter. Nevertheless, the alarm was sounded much, much earlier, back in 2011. And it signaled interesting times for everyone in business.
However, the more serious event happened yesterday when authorities swooped in on Cercle Clichy-Montmarte, one of the last such venues among 15 others to host big tournaments. With local newspapers calling the event ‘an end of an era,’ the significance of what has just happens will reverberate strongly.
With one of the main venues now gone, players are rather puzzled as to where to proceed playing. Paris’ card rooms have been taken one after another, but Clichy-Montmarte stood tall amid the regulatory storm.
Even sadder events have happened in the past, though. In 2015, the 107-year-old poker property The Aviation Club de France was shut down. A venue that was rich with history and has hosted the World Poker Tour in all its iterations, the loss of The Aviation Club de France has been most unwelcome.
With the now erased Clichy-Montmarte, the sentiments are even more dispiriting. Clichy-Montmarte was indeed an institution in its own right, having hosted a handful of meaningful and important tournaments, such as Winimax Poker Tour, WPT National, including quite a few events for the WSOP Circuit.
Cannot Evade the Law
Authorities moved in on the club on suspicious that the venue was a front for money-laundering schemes. Another allegation pointed that the club may have embezzled €10 million, as per French newspaper Le Parisien. As the investigation advanced, five individuals were indicted back in July when the case first started to build.
Interestingly enough, Clichy-Montmarte’s social feed remained vibrant, announcing a tournament for Wednesday. When players showed up, it was only to find Clichy-Montmarte all dark and locked up. The social feed then changed to reflect the latest developments.
🔴 Bonjour à tous,
Suite à la suspension provisoire des agréments autorisant l’exploitation des jeux en tant que Cercle, le Cercle Clichy Montmartre est fermé ce jour et jusqu’à nouvel ordre. (la suite : https://t.co/WHgwG0Cbm7) pic.twitter.com/iqZJwLtyWs
— Club Montmartre (@Club_Montmartre) September 26, 2018
The message reads as follows: “Following a temporary suspension of the licenses allowing gaming activities to take place in the casino, Cercle Clichy-Montmarte is closed until a further notice”.
A pressing issue for some of the players has been whether their cash-game chips will be paid out in full as well as the loyalty points. Even then, the fact that Clichy-Montmarte’s gone under is quite the dispiriting news and they will be sorely missed among Paris poker lovers. Nevertheless, a new frontier is now rearing its head and poker is becoming more digitalized than ever.
With a slew of events perforating the old continent, it’s easy to imagine that poker players will have a greater mobility and that online card rooms will become even more popular. It’s true that the French government is a well-known hardliner on all things gambling, but this shouldn’t dissuade the locals from pursuing their passion on the wire and in the now well-lit card rooms of Paris. Only, the last one was just snuffed out.