What has happened since Black Friday - America's Darkest Day for Online Poker?
13 June 2012
Three of the founders of the world’s leading online poker sites such as Full Tilt poker were indicted by the US Department of Justice (D.O.J) and the F.B.I froze billions of dollars’ worth of player’s money. This happened overnight and left most players and operators in a state of shock. It was no longer legal for players to play in the real cash mode, or for these operators to process transactions with online payment companies or other banking institutions.
The online gambling companies were officially charged with serious offences. These offences included money laundering, illegal gambling and even bank fraud. This new act was called the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and meant that players basically had no legal US based gambling portals to play at anymore and many other major offshore operators also pulled out of the US market altogether.
Players were literally left with little choice but to visit unregulated online gambling sites and in extreme cases, some even left the US to continue gambling online from abroad. Most of the cash and assets that were actually frozen were never returned, even to this day.
Since this dark day for online poker, there has been some light at the end of the tunnel and various people (including some important figures) continue to lobby for the full legalisation of online gambling, especially poker. Poker is a game of skill and is not classed as most other forms of gambling are. Some states, such as Nevada, now allow online poker (legally) and other states look set to follow.
It’s going to be a long, drawn out process, but most people remain optimistic that within just a few years from now, online poker will once again be legal and widely available, while in a completely regulated and secure environment. It will inevitably be the government who will profit the most from this lucrative business, which is why they are still scratching their heads to figure out the best way to profit from the online poker industry.
For the time being, most player still have to log in an online poker site or other gambling portal that operates from an offshore location. Since poker’s Black Friday, things are certainly looking up, but players shouldn’t expect miracles overnight.
For many professional poker players who continue to wait for the day that real cash poker once again becomes fully legal in America, unfortunately it won’t be in the immediate future, but it’s always better to remain optimistic.
Also, since December of 2011 it was recognised that online poker does not come under the 1960s Wire Act, which prohibits gambling via the use of a communications device such as telephones etc. It was though that internet poker would come under threat by this law, but that wasn’t the case, so this became one less thing for online poker to worry about.
Tags: online poker, online gambling, gambling, poker, poker players, black friday,
Posted In: Online Gambling, Online Poker,
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