Sports Law Blog
All things legal relating
to the sports world...
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
 
Online Gaming

Whether or not it is a sport is debatable, but poker (and other gambling activities) has been severely affected by the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act. See WaPo article here. Espn and FSN televise poker tournaments on a loop, so let's cede that it's a sport for now. . .

Party Poker has already stopped taking deposits and wagers from American "players," saying as much on their site: "The United States Congress has passed a bill that seeks to prevent you from playing cash poker online. If, as expected, [it's already happened, ed.] that bill is signed into law by President Bush. . .many of your favorite sites will cease taking deposits and wagers from American players and that includes your very favorite--partypoker.com." I am close to a "professional" who made his living playing poker on that site. But no longer, as he is now blocked.

With American players now limited in their access to so much poker, advertising revenues from websites like Party Poker should decrease or even disappear. The same goes for the televised tournaments since interest will wane.

I posit that there is a way around the law for these athletes, however. The law is geared toward preventing financial institutions from processing transactions intended to be used for online gaming. Well if one opens up a foreign bank account (the more protective the country's laws the better--Antigua, Cayman Islands), then one's domestic bank would not know the money is then being wired into these gambling websites. This is the process required at Tradesports--introduced to me by a law professor of mine--which is a favorite of American traders (and even has predictive value). For now Tradesports seems safe from regulation, but we'll see what happens in 270 days, when the law is implemented.

Update





9 Comments:

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Anonymous Anonymous -- 10/18/2006 9:49 AM  


Help. A general inquiry: Would anybody out there care to share an idea for an interesting law review topic??? I'm in desparate need of finding one and I can't see myself writing about anything other than sports.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 10/18/2006 10:24 AM  


thanks for the insite. My question is why are other sites still up and operating. I was a long time player of partypoker and recently switched to full tilt. Many players on full tilt are commenting on how they are recent transplants from partypoker, so while partypoker suffers, other sites have gained an increase in players. Is full tilt waiting the 270 days before the law is implemented before shutting down?

Anonymous Anonymous -- 10/18/2006 8:32 PM  


What was the issue sportsbetting.com (?) was frozen? I have friends with several thousands of dollars still trapped; however, with the promise of future refund.
Won't there always be a way around direct American deposits (i.e. depositing moneys via neteller, or any number of third party financial resources).

Anonymous Anonymous -- 10/19/2006 9:28 AM  


I really won't be sorry to see poker off ESPN 2. It will make room for the real sports that they used to show like world's strongest man, lumberjack competions, demolition derbies, car rolling and pro putt putt. I have missed these since poker starting taking over the off time slots.

Anonymous ziggyz -- 10/19/2006 12:28 PM  


I agree with the legislation which aims to ban credit cards as a payment method for online gambling of any sort... and i think it should be enforced worldwide – not just in America. In fact, gambling with a credit card should be banned full stop. Not just on the internet. It’s a no brainer when you consider you are placing backing the outcome of an uncertain event with somebody else’s money. Chance and credit do not mix well in my opinion, and continuing to allow it would only contribute further in negatively affecting the high levels of personal debt many citizens today find themselves in. I do however, think that the prohibition won't work; or at least it won’t be received well amongst gamblers - I mean what’s the point in banning a credit card payments made on an online poker game, for example, but not online sports betting? Slightly hypocritical no? I mean how can you allow someone to participate [with or without a credit card] in online horse racing betting, but not put any money on a hand of texas hold’em poker? both activities involve a large degree of chance, and neither are guaranteed to yield financial return.
What really infuriates me is that the minority of irresponsible gamblers [those paying with someone elses money!] have now ruined the fun of online betting for everyone else - those like me who pay with money they actually have in their bank!!
At least for the Americans there is always the free online poker games!

Anonymous play poker online -- 11/21/2007 7:55 AM  


There is no more luck involved in winning a hand of poker than there is in backing a particular horse to win a race... the outcome of both depends on numerous circumstances which are out of your control. So what is it the point in American government banning a credit card payments made on an online poker games... I dont agree with the above comment because you have to be 18 to both gamble and have a credit card... By this age you should have learned how to be responsible with money!

Anonymous free poker online -- 1/03/2008 6:55 AM  


I agree with the legislation which aims to ban credit cards as a payment method for online gambling of any sort... and i think it should be enforced worldwide – not just in America. In fact, gambling with a credit card should be banned full stop. Not just on the internet. It’s a no brainer when you consider you are backing the outcome of an uncertain event with somebody else’s money. Chance and credit do not mix well in my opinion, and continuing to allow it would only contribute further in negatively affecting the high levels of personal debt many citizens today find themselves in. I do however, think that the prohibition won't work; or at least it won’t be received well amongst gamblers - I mean what’s the point in banning a credit card payments made on an online poker game, for example, but not on other kinds online sports betting? Slightly hypocritical, you not think? I mean how can you allow someone to participate [with or without a credit card] in horse racing betting on the internet, but not put any money on a hand when they play texas holdem poker online? Both activities involve a large degree of chance, and neither promise to yield financial return. What really infuriates me is that the minority of irresponsible gamblers [those paying with someone elses money!] have now ruined the fun of online betting for everyone else - those like me who pay with money they actually have in their bank!! At least for the Americans there is always the free online poker games!

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