Student's online poker business regains pre-legislation foothold
Thursday 30th November 2006
The impact of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) on most online casinos and poker rooms has been, to put it mildly, debilitating. However one poker room appears to have emerged from the wreckage unscathed.
Despite the deployment of the UIGEA in October, profits at Tyler Hancock's online poker website are more or less back to where they were before the law signed into force by President Bush.
Hancock explained that although US players had dropped from 85 percent of his customers to 65 percent after legislation came into effect, he had recruited more European and Canadian players to make up for the loss.
'My big players are never going to quit playing poker no matter what happens,' claimed the interdisciplinary studies senior. His website, FuturePokerPros.com, makes its money by taking a percentage of the winnings of each player it recruits for other online poker sites.
According to the Poker Players Alliance president, Michael Bolcerek, about 10 large online poker operators have withdrawn offering their services to US customers because the new law requires American financial institutions to block online gambling transactions.
”Smaller, private companies like Hancock's are still serving US customers while waiting to find out how the federal government decides to enforce the law,” Bolcerek added.
Under the UIGEA, banks and monetary transfer companies have until July 2007 to apply restrictive measures against the transfer of money to online gaming sites.
Keith Furlong, deputy director of the Vancouver, British Columbia-based Interactive Gaming Council claimed that banning online gambling would prove counterproductive.
'While the bill sponsors may have good intentions, they're not protecting consumers,' Furlong said. 'They have turned some of the most responsible, legitimate public companies out of the US market.'