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Will Overseas Online Poker Sites Still be able to Accept US Players?

10 December 2010 by admin

Well, that is the question is it not? Oh, Harry Reid, you have been a sneaky man.

It looks like overseas online poker sites are heading into some rough US waters. The water between them and US players seems to be strewn with Reid Rocks.

For anyone who reads the draft proposal of Nevada Senator Harry Reid’s bill for online poker regulation it is quite obvious what gaming market that man is favoring. No surprises that it is the Nevada gaming industry, either because this is his own state’s gambling interest, ergo, his state’s revenue interests. Or it could be that the gaming industry made it possible for Reid to beat his opponent, Sharron Angle, in the mid-term elections.

Prior to this backing and the beginning of this year’s lame duck session, Reid was quite opposed to online gambling. Now, not only is he on board for it by all appearances, he has a bill for online poker regulation in hand. Fishy, fishy goes my radar.

The way this bill is worded is that only casino businesses with brick and mortar casinos that have been in operation for five years or more can apply for a license. This five year levy will last for two years. This knocks the new north east casinos out of competition. It also knocks out favored online poker sites that US players have been playing on for years.

In fact it looks like the only way an overseas online poker site could tap back into the US player market is through a US-based casino business—with the requisite brick and mortar casino that has been around for five years or more—buying the overseas online poker site or acquiring them by some other means.

So not only does Reid’s bill cut competition from the market, leaving it open for his state’s long-standing brick and mortar casinos, Reid’s bill also opens up the potential for those casinos to purchase highly lucrative online poker sites. And it does not look like a bad idea from the point of view of the Nevada casinos; after all they would have a very well-known online poker site at their disposal that they would not have to pay to be built.

If an overseas online poker site is willing to sell itself to a US-based casino business, they would have to stop taking wagers from US players when Reid’s law goes into effect. Also, within thirty days, said overseas online poker sites would have to return all US player money, and any money that is discovered to be unreturnable would then need to be deposited into in American bank until “suitable” disposition can occur.

All of that sounds all kinds of fishy to me. I have to say that when I look over what Representative Barney Frank aims to do with online poker and compare it to Reid’s idea for regulation, I have to lean on Frank’s idea of online poker regulation.

One Response to “Will Overseas Online Poker Sites Still be able to Accept US Players?”

  1. […] But that is the general feeling of online poker players towards Republicans for not allowing Senator Harry Reid’s online poker regulation bill to pass in the recent lame duck […]