Posted: 12/4/2011 2:38:16 PM
Yes, todays news from the poker world is bad. No, it is worse than bad.
How bad? Bad enough to potentially bring down the 3 top poker sites - Pokerstars and Full Tilt together swamp the online sports betting world in terms of volume. So one can only assume that this is very bad for the extremely limited sports betting that is left out there for Americans.
The cliff notes are that Pokerstars, Ulitmate Bet, and Full Tilt were using undercover ways to fund and pay accounts in America. They bought off bank presidents, bought banks outright, and used CC and WU methods that the DOJ deems illegal according to the UIGEA of 2006. Indictments were handed out today, and no official word has come from the sites - but there is much speculation from very reliable sources that they will most likely shut down completely. At best, they will remain open for non-Americans, but Americans poker playing days online are all but done.
I wonder what Negranu, Hellmuth, Ivey - and those other posers will do now - will they just make a cash grab and disappear or will they fight with the money they made on the backs of the players to get something done. I wonder what this will do to the poker movement - it could go one way or the other - but what are the odds on a bunch of degenerates getting organized and getting something done? Maybe the PPA will do something - I hope so.
Sounds similar to sports betting? How do you think the few sportsbooks left out there will feel when they contemplate this knowing they do the same exact things to keep Americans?
The end is near my dear friends. Sure there will always be places that will take wagers with extreme risks and non-transparancy to the bettor, but the days of trust are gone. Any book can close at any time, your money could be gone at any book at any time.
This is a big deal. Some might say that online gambling for Americans couldnt get worse, but today it got enormously worse. I have my own opinions about why this is happening - and those have to do with paving the way for inevitable legalization and taxation and knocking these guys out for financial gain - but that is just opinion and doesnt really matter. The reality is that I wouldnt have a penny offshore now at any book that accepts Americans. If you have money at Pinnacle or Betfair - you are probably fine - but unless you are willing to lose your money at any time, just sit out for a while. Pokerstars and Fulltilt are in a different stratisphere compared to bookmaker and greek - if they can go (at least for Americans) then certainly anything can happen to those remaining.
Keep your eyes and ears open - things are happening quickly - stay on top of the news and stay on top of your balances.
Today, we went from being very cold to entering the ice age of online gambling. The good news is, the ice always seems to melt eventually.
Vanzack ...... April 15, 2011
I guess you should have read that.