Friday, October 06, 2006

No Teeth

Full Tilt Poker obviously is not giving up without a fight. They sent out an email to all their users with some pretty strong statements concerning the new online gaming legislation. If what Full Tilt Poker says is true, the new online gaming ban is actually a GOOD THING for poker players who want to play poker online.

Here's what FTP Says:

The new U.S. legislation does not in any way attempt to criminalize the act of you playing online poker. By playing online at Full Tilt Poker, you are not breaking any U.S. Federal laws.
This has been said numerous times by many sources. The law easily could have done this, but it didn't.

The passage of the new Internet Gaming law will not have any impact on your day-to-day experience at Full Tilt Poker. We will provide all of our players, everywhere in the world, with full access to all of our games and tournaments.
This has also been repeated. US players will still have access to any site that allows us. The government will not prevent anyone from going anywhere on the Internet.

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.
If this is true, then very little will change with the way US players do business. If Neteller still legally accepts deposits and withdrawls, nothing has changed.

Furthermore, we firmly believe that online poker is not encompassed by this new legislation.
This is the most important part. If this is actually true (and it's certainly no sure thing) then this law is actually a GOOD THING for online poker players. A law with no teeth is EVEN BETTER for poker players because it is unlikely that another law will be put in place that might actually make playing poker illegal, actually stop payment processors and prevent access.


Pokerwolf said...

Actually, if they can prove that the "online gambling" bill doesn't apply to poker, that could become a legal precident for other cases to permit live poker.

We'll have to see how it goes.

Shelly said...

I think in saying that the ban might not apply to poker, that is assuming they are successful at getting a carve-out for poker, which hasn't happened yet. And the big question mark is still whether Neteller will be prevented from transferring money to and from poker sites, because if it is, it doesn't matter if playing is legal. If you can collect your winnings or reload your account, who cares if it's legal to play?

Too many "if's" out there for me to take much comfort in this, though I'm glad FTP has stepped out and taken a stand in our favor.

Shelly said...

*can't* collect winnings, that is. Me type bad.

Jestocost said...

I agree with most of their points, but the last one is a stretch to say the least. The legislative history is pretty clear that the intent of Congress was to include poker in the scope of the legislation. If nothing else, the simple change from applying the law to "games of chance" to applying it to "games SUBJECT to chance" is significant.

Still, even if the law does apply to poker the issue for most individual players is on the enforcement side. I see little or no chance that individual players will be pursued, unless the elect to make a high-profile case against some of the pros with stakes in the various sites. As a result, the biggest question is if the U.S. will be able to enforce the ban; either directly or by applying other pressures that force the sites to comply. That's already worked with Party and other sites, so it may eventually work with them all.

Time will tell, so I am adopting a patient attitude.

Wolverine Fan said...

In a shipwreck, you tend to cling to any piece of floating debris that can help your plight. Full Tilt is going against a lot of the other site's thinking and, like a drowning man, I am going to cling to every shred of floating detritus I can.

I think Full Tilt and Absoute and some other sites may find their poker playing population growing eponentially and that is probably making it worth their letting Americans continue to play.

It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out and to see what happens to Party, Titan, Sun, etc. that have blocked U.S. players. That decision may eventually be a college class at Wharton Buisness School on how not to kill your business.

C.L. Russo said...

I don't think there's any chance that the bill doesn't apply to poker, unless whomever wrote the bill made a stupendous error. Clearly, this bill is meant to include poker.

Here's the rub: if the guvmint can force ISP's to block poker sites, the jig is up.

Also, I'm suspicious of the bravery of FT and Stars, and other sites who are going to 'stick it out.'

I bet (can I still say that online?) that they stay around to soak up what used to be Party's and the others' rake, then shut down before implementation starts.

Do you really think smart people like Ferguson and Juanda are going to take any serious risk of getting arrested or being essentially exiled from the US?

Michael said...

Riddle me this, Batman:

If the UIGEA was meant to include online poker, then why was Rep. Bob Goodlatte (who started this shitstorm during the summer) quoted as lamenting (after the bill passed) that the UIGEA bill did not do anything to update the Wire Act and will not likely curtail online gaming?

Perhaps because the UIGEA does not include online poker...