Monday, October 02, 2006

The Internet Gambling Prohibition Bill

All the talk right now is about The Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This Bill which was attached to a Bill concerning security of our ports, in essence, will eliminate our ability to deposit money into our favorite poker sites through direct banking channels.

One of things that concerns me is to what extent can I transfer money I already have out there. I believe that existing funds should be usable because they are not being moved from an U.S. financial institution to a non-approved illegal casino/poker site. Money moving from, let’s say, Noble Poker to Neteller and then on to Poker Stars should be OK because these funds didn’t originate from an American bank. What this does do though is change the face of money management for the novice player who may now find it much more difficult to deposit money and thus more likely to avoid making a deposit altogether.

But what about our money? Will we be able to cash out our current bankrolls? Will this be a punishable offence in the eyes of the criminal justice system? Looking at the bill, it seems that only a portion of the original bill is attached and that money flowing to an internet site from a United States bank is what is being prohibited. Funds flowing back from a given site don’t seem to be affected. The government is trying to regulate the financial institutions’ side because regulating all of the on-line players is next to impossible.

What are some of our options? I feel that places like Neteller, Paypal, and Firepro will still be able to continue to do business as they always have. We have the right as Americans to make purchases over seas through a middleman and thus the ability to place funds into a place like Neteller. Neteller, being based in another country doesn’t have to abide by the same laws that we do as Americans and can receive a bank transfer on the basis that it may be for something other then internet gambling. The are not obligated to give information to the U.S. government about fund transfers they have been asked to initiate.

So what do we do now? I’m in the process of moving part of my bankroll back into my checking account. Not because I’m afraid of loosing the money but to fund a possible trip to a card room. I still have a significant amount sitting in the cyber casinos and will continue to do so until this is all worked out and the truth is known. The political backlash from this decision is yet to be seen but I think it will be more then noteworthy.

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