Friday, July 14, 2006

The Land of the Free?

On Tuesday, July 11, 2006, American poker players were dealt a bad hand by the U.S. House of Representatives. In a 317 to 93 vote the U.S. House passed H.R. 4411, sponsored by Jim Leach, R-Iowa, which would prohibit banks and credit card companies from processing payments for online gambling bets. It also includes the major provisions of another bill HR 4777 by Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., that would force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access or disable hyperlinks to Web sites that offer online gambling.

The bill will now go to the Senate, where it should face a tougher time being approved. The White House said it supports the bill.

This is potentially horrible news for me. Whilst this won't make it impossible for Americans to play poker online, it will cut their numbers drastically IMO. Especially the casual players. Determined players (read: solid) will find a way (neteller etc) but I'm sure many potential fish will be put off.

I need an industry with high numbers of casual players, and casual players with large disposable incomes! I need it to be easy for these casual players with large disposable incomes to create accounts, I want them to be exposed to adverts about online poker etc etc.

Basically, I dont want to have to get a 'real' job again. C'mon America, help me out here.


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