What will Harry Reid’s Internet Poker bill mean for us?

What will Harry Reid’s Internet Poker bill mean for us?

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

By now you will have all heard about Harry Reid’s Internet Poker bill . Attached to a larger piece of legislation in the same way that the UIGEA snuck in alongside the Safe Port Act in 2006, it proposes a system of regulated and taxed online poker in the US – but at a price.

The Prohibition of Internet Gambling, Internet Poker Regulation and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2010 (there’s a mouthful) unfortunately includes a fifteen-month ‘blackout’ period for all online poker sites in the US before a two-year period where PokerStars, Full Tilt and others would be unable to operate in the US.

For us over on the better side of the Atlantic, this is pretty bad news – the US player pool makes up almost a third of the global online poker market and a smaller player pool means less fish. While it is true that on sites like PokerStars the regulars are mostly from the US, most of the fish are too.

It’s now a very good time for networks like Cake and iPoker to step up to the plate for the next couple of years if this bill passes. Personally, we’ll still play on PokerStars – there will still be 100,000 players there and at least five of them have to be worse than us.

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