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Professional US Online Poker Players Heading Out

11 August 2011 by admin

The biggest impact of the Black Friday indictments this past April was the notion that the ten million online poker players in the United States really had nowhere to play. There was a scramble and an increase at land casinos. Other players tried to move to another site. Others just gave up. But there are other further reaching impacts that perhaps we have not really given much thought to.

“It is not often that the federal government shuts down the only means of income for hundreds of thousands of hardworking Americans,” as Matt Villano reported in his piece for Time back on May 10th. And this is what happened. Granted not all ten million American online poker players were professionals, but for the hundreds of thousands who were professional the question is what do they do now?

There really is not much they can do. They can either try to find jobs in a shaky economy or they can move. As in move out of the country. “Ultimately, it does not really matter where I end up. So long as I can get myself to a country with good Internet connections, a country that allows me to earn a living again, I am there,” said Isaac Haxton. Haxton was a full-time online poker professional who is now out of a job. And he, like other professional players, are looking to move to countries where they can use their skill to earn a living again. On the surface many might shrug such moves as nothing, but the impact is far more reaching.

Online professional poker players play hundreds of hands of poker in an hour. They are dealing with thousands of dollars at a time. They actually make quite a decent living, and they turn around and take all that money and plunk it into larger ticket items, nice restaurants, entertainment and other goods and services that much of the working class is avoiding the last several months in the current economy. So here we have hundreds of thousands of bigger spenders who are injecting more money into the economy who are now moving to other countries. All so that they can make a living with their poker skills. At this point the US not only is losing its citizens, it is also losing fuel for its economy.

This situation is another reason why the US federal government needs to regulate online poker and online casinos in the US. There a millions of Americans who can inject more than the average working class consumer all because they are making more money playing poker in online casinos. Should the federal government regulate online poker and online casinos they will infuse a set of professionals with the means to contribute more to the American economy and help give it a push to turning it around. Just something to think about.

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