Friday, October 06, 2006

Mild optimism

Happy Birthday, Poncey! He turns 4 this month, and he's still energetic, healthy and fun.

I'm sitting on my bankroll for now as I wait and see how this Internet gambling prohibition works itself out.

I don't know what's going to happen, but I can't get away from the idea that Americans' ability to play online poker with a minimal amount of trouble hinges on Neteller.

If Neteller remains a viable option for funding gambling accounts, then online poker will continue to thrive. Neteller is easy to use and already preferred by most Internet players.

It appears that government regulators will have to decide whether Neteller counts as a gambling site after President Bush signs the law. Neteller officials have not made any announcement about whether they will change their business practices in response to the Internet gambling bill.

But if Neteller does not accept transactions from U.S. players, it may take a while for the games to recover. Sure, there will be workarounds and loopholes, like using a phone card to transfer money or finding another foreign bank that can act as a middleman for gambling transactions.

Unfortunately, while those alternative funding options are viable, they're far from preferable. Hard-core gamblers would take advantage of them, but many bad players would not. It's just too much trouble to try and dodge the law for games that are losing propositions for most people.

How many of us will be winning players if fish can't deposit money?

Where there's a will there's a way, especially in a large, hugely profitable worldwide industry like gambling. But the phone card solution might not be much of an answer.

UPDATE: Full Tilt has gone on the record as saying they will continue to offer funding methods for U.S. players.

"We will continue to provide our players with all of the safe, secure and convenient methods for transferring money to and from the site. In fact, in recent discussions with our payment processors, we have been assured that this new law will have no immediate impact on their day-to-day business. And as always, any monies that you have on deposit with Full Tilt Poker remain completely safe and secure."


Shelly said...

happy b-day, poncey!!

daniel negreanu posted on his blog the other day that since neteller isn't a US financial institution, our law would have no jurisdiction over them. he anticipates that we will continue to be able to use neteller.

that's the big question, because the ban definitely didn't criminalize the act of playing poker online.

i wish they'd just get a carve out for poker and be done with it. i can't imagine it likely that the ban gets repealed.

thecaffiend said...

Yay Ponce! Happiest of happys. My first cat (that still lives at the 'rents tho, but was the first really my cat) is turning 20 this month. We're actually having a family party...

FedexAteMyBrain said...

If the uncertainty of the future of online poker (OLP) wasn't bad enough, Don Sutton has left the Braves Broadcast Booth (BBB)! It must be time for a reckonin'. Four horsemen and all that jazz. Remember to bring an umbrella to keep the rain of blood off of your nice shirt.

kurokitty said...

Happy birthday, cat!