The UIGEA (unlawful internet gaming enforcement act) has been a hindrance for some, meaning those that still find a way to get their funds online. The law has been an absolute non starter for others, the ones who chose not to find a way to play online and have moved either to Brick and Mortar casinos or home games. There are still others who’ve moved to subscription sites, where you “legally” pay a monthly fee to play poker online
Remember the UIGEA doesn’t say anywhere in its many words that it’s illegal for anyone to play online poker. No it’s interpreted as saying that it’s now incumbent on Banks not to transact with online gaming sites and further to do their own enforcement of the same.
To that end some payment processors have removed themselves from the market and further some online poker site have decided it’s best to concentrate their efforts elsewhere and have removed the ability to play poker on their network if you live in the United States.
This mixed bag of reaction to the UIGEA has left many sites, players and processors looking for ways to shake hands again. There are still dozens of sites that cater to the US market and those with a will have found the proverbial way to continue to play.
One company, however, has taken to heart another old proverb “that there must be a better way’. That company is the PIC Club or Players Investment Club and is located at www.picclub.com
One bold and bright for online poker players’ statement in the UIGEA explains that while banking institutions can not transact with online poker sites there are some businesses that are exempt from this law. One of those businesses is the Commodity Trading business. In other words you can’t stop a company house like a Schwab or E-trade or Lynch from investing in businesses or trading in commodity products around the world.
The PIC Club is exactly that, an internationally licensed Commodity Trading Company. So literally the UIGEA says it’s ok for a company like the PIC Club to transfer funds between it and any other business. Another way to put it is the UIGEA says it’s legal for the PIC Club to operate as a Commodity Trading Company to transact with anyone it chooses. The PIC Club just happens to be the first of its kind to choose to trade in poker as a product.
How does that help you as a player then?
Well as I understand it here’s how it works:
You deposit into PIC Club, well actually you are buying shares of a product with the same value as your deposit. Because you own these shares, PIC Club will at your request to transfer, sell the shares you own to the poker room. The poker room places the money that they owe you for those shares in your players account for you to play with. You can transfer all or a portion of them to an online poker site…then you can play, transfer, and withdraw. You even transfer between rooms thru the PIC Club interface.
There are also some great features like PIC Club only member benefits. There’s a Pro Team filled with names of high end players, a Celebrity team filled with Hollywood notables. These teams are found weekly at some PIC Club tournament on one of the networks. You get a chance to play with some great folks who kindly have a bounty on their head each week. Further because they move around, you get to download and play on other online poker software. That broadens your game play and who knows you might just find that perfect game for you!!
Now, here’s one of the coolest features for me. Every transaction you make they remove a dollar and put it for you into an interest bearing investment account which you get back during the winter holidays, just in time for gift giving. In 2007 this account paid 14% interest to all PIC Club members.
Withdrawal is as easy as depositing, all PIC Club does buy your shares and then send you back your money, hopefully if you played good it’s more than you deposited!!
This begins a new era in online poker and banking for online poker, me, I’m glad I joined the PIC Club and I recommend you do too.
Hope that helps