Is Online Poker going away? That’s the question I get asked more and more as I travel to brick & Mortar casinos. My answer is no. However I think the landscape has changed drastically and forever. Prohibition, we all learned about it in school and some of us even heard the term when we were kids. During this time no one stopped drinking alcohol, and this time there’s a marked difference! PLAYING POKER ISN’T ILLEGAL. That’s right, the law enacted last year or should I say slipped into the Safe Harbor Act doesn’t mention playing poker at all. It’s solely based on how banking deals with online gaming, or better put how banking CAN NOT deal with online gaming. So what does this mean and how do you go on playing without interruption or roadblocks. You don’t! The roadblocks are challenging but not a hurdle too high to jump. More the online poker sites you know and trust, are helping you make the jump. Some of the procedures you initially went thru to fund your online accounts will have to be repeated and there might be some minor delays before you can deposit or withdraw Places like Neteller (online bank based outside the US) have stopped transactions with gaming sites and others have stopped taking US customers at all. Most of these are publicly traded somewhere in the world and the shareholders didn’t want the exposure of going against a US law. However, for everyone that closed there’s another to take its place and they’re eager for your business.
I’m not saying you should just google search the tern “online banking’ you shouldn’t because unfortunately there will be many “fly by night” banking sites that will pop up that may not be as reputable as you’d want. So how do you choose, well you don’t. Your favorite online poker site is doing the work on your behalf and since their reputation is at stake, I feel confident that they’re doing their due diligence. Simply put if their research has found the company to be reputable so should you. In the meantime it seems as though B & M tournaments are growing and so are the long lines and lists at the land based poker casinos.
That’s good because you’re going to make new friends. This not only helps you social life but it will help your online poker funding as well. Many of the site have enhanced their player to player transfers and the more players you meet the more you’ll have to trade funds with. I’ve already seen players in casinos with their laptops trading funds, not only quick and easy but also with no fees Somewhere in the crystal ball is a government that sees the revenue they’ve turned away and legislators will see the light instead of sneaking under cover of night. This means US backed online poker; which isn’t completely a good thing, but I’d rather be taxed and be safe than not play at all. Not only will the US get a chance to tax the online companies, estimated at 3.3 Billion, but they could get access to online poker winners and tax them as well. In return you get a safe environment and a company with offices here in the US, which means better customer service and an authority to answer to if you have problems. So the answer again is no online poker isn’t going away, in fact I believe it’s here to stay in one form or another and while you might find the road bumpy it’s still a road I’d travel on everyday Warren “PokerMD” Karp www.PokerMD.com