may not be the end of online gambling
What may seem like the
rumbles and tumbles of online gambling is not exactly so, at
least not for online gambling players and portals around the
While some thought that World War III was breaking out, others
just saw it as ripples in the pond on a stormy night.
The US did pass the Safe Port Act, which intends to limit online
gambling, making it all the more difficult for gamers in the US
to paddle away at online poker, but it didn’t bring forth the
end of the world.
Yet, Lawrence Walters, an attorney who specializes in online
gaming laws says the addendum to the Act doesn’t clarify the
online gambling situation, but rather brings about an obscurity.
“The version of the legislation that finally passed is an
arbitrary, poorly-drafted, vague set of prohibitions that only
serve to further complicate the muddled mess that is online
gaming regulation in the [U.S.],” Walters said.
“As a result, the remaining provisions of the legislation are
contradictory, and attempt to incorporate provisions of existing
state or federal law in order to define what activity
constitutes unlawful Internet gambling.”
The critics of online gambling prohibition are the banks, which
would not only be required to track all financial transactions
to ensure that they aren’t related to online gambling, but stop
the ones that are as well.
Banks would of course lose out the most because of the
transactions related to online gambling. And, although their
revenues will continue to be transmitted, it will be a major
blow with the US market out.
As Independent Community Bank lobbyist Steve Verdier said, “It's
very tempting to think the banking industry can stop this kind
of stuff because people pay for it through banks, but the fact
is the system just wasn't really designed to do it.”
The US government is expected to require financial institutions
to watch transactions closely, but there won’t be sanctions for
non-compliance, provided that you're not in cahoots with an
online gambling company of course.
Although the legislation limits payment options for poker
players engaged in online gambling, it surprisingly doesn’t
explicitly prohibit players from playing online poker.
Even politicians are voicing their concerns of this online
gambling ban. In an interview with Gambling911, Congressperson
Shelley Berkley (R-NV.) said that the legislation is flawed.
“This legislation has a loophole big enough to drive a truck
through that was designed solely to protect betting on horse
racing and lotteries over the Internet,” she said.
Online gambling is all about the game especially when it comes
to online poker. The ambiguity of poker’s actual status could
benefit fans of Texas Hold ‘em. Some would have you believe it
is online gambling no questions asked, but real poker players
would take issue with that.
In fact, Phil Gordon made similar arguments about online
gambling when testifying for poker back in 2005. If poker is
seen by letter of the law as a skill online gambling game, then
paying would not be deemed illegal.