Poker in Europe has been on tenterhooks. Much has happened in these past years, and breaking down our analysis by country, would engulf the better part of our day. So, let’s just report on the most significant event right now. The Cercle Clichy-Montmarte, one of the last French gaming dens has closed, forced by authorities. Here’s what happened. As a result, online alternatives will have to be pursued.
Poker in Europe – What a Mess!
Local French newspapers have revealed that Cercle Clichy-Montmarte, Paris’ last and most famous card room, has been shut down on Tuesday following police raids. While not much information has been made public, back in July, Clichy-Montmarte was suspected of running as a front for money-laundering schemes. At the time, five people have been indicted.
Despite the warnings of authorities, the operator kept beating on unperturbed by the oncoming storm. However, the latest developments indicate that the Paris police doesn’t intend to play soft with anyone who breaks the law. However, the guilt of Cercle Clichy-Montmarte as an institution is not entirely proven.
What’s more, the venue was one of the last ones to actually allow people to enjoy high-level poker. It has served as a host of WSOP events as well as other important pow-wows of the poker world. The reach and breadth of the casino’s popularity have been nation if not continent-wide. Even though the official Twitter feed of Clichy-Montmarte says that the casino is only closed until further notice, Le Parisien, the paper reporting on the developments, has recognized the demise of yet another outstanding player from the card room world.
Earlier in 2015, The Aviation Club de France suffered a similar fate with its operations being clipped and dashed at once. It was definitely a grave loss for the country as a whole, because the operator had a century-long history, which was snuffed out in a single stroke at the authorities.
A Future Beyond the Card Room
For many, imagining Paris without Cercle Clichy-Montmarte is a difficult undertaking. The venue was not just a place to play cards. It was also a place to meet like-minded individuals, discuss poker and share news. Apart from the glitzy tournaments and other important poker pow-wows, there was an authentic ambiance to the whole place, which made gamers want to come back for more.
That’s why even after the news that the casino had broken down, players still showed up on Wednesday because they had read on the official Twitter feed of Clichy-Montmarte that a tournament would in fact take place on that day.
Reading the social feed of Clichy-Montmarte we know for a fact that the casino will be paying out the outstanding game-chips that gamers want to claim back. This is just another opportunity to show that Clichy will stand by its customers come what may.
However, the blow for offline poker in France is substantial. Thankfully, there are sufficient opportunities that will allow gamers to pursue their efforts online. At the same time, major poker organizations are making a steady push to introduce more tournaments and competitions all across Europe and France included.