Chuck Humphrey’s Analysis and Some More Thoughts on the UIGEA

Online gaming law expert, Chuck Humphrey has written the best analysis of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act I have seen. Not surprisingly I’m in complete agreement with his read (why else would I think it’s the best writeup I’ve seen?) and have had similar reactions to those who claim things about the law which don’t seem to match with what is actually in the law. For instance, both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker have said that they don’t believe that the law applies to poker. I’ve been a little shocked by that read of the law because even a dolt like me can recognize that the law certainly does apply to poker. Humphrey says:

Some commentators have argued that the operation of online poker Websites should be excluded from the reach of the new law because poker, being a skillful game, is not a game of chance. Under current state law that argument does not hold water. Most U.S. jurisdictions apply the Dominant Factor test to determine if a contest is a game of skill or a game of chance. That test looks to which elements predominate (51%) in determining outcome of the game. If the elements of chance predominate, then it is a game of chance, notwithstanding that skill elements are important, but not predominant. Furthermore, the outcome is to be determined by the considering the nature of the game and the abilities of the average player coming to the game. See: Is Poker a Game of Skill? Online poker operators should consider mathematical analysis of their vast data bases of poker results to support attempts to overturn the case law that views the “luck of the draw” aspect of poker as resulting in its being a game of chance.

Additionally, there is the fact that they are unlicensed gaming establishments which negates any protection that the poker is a skill game argument might offer. You can’t just roll into Las Vegas and start setting up slot machines on The Strip. You have to apply for a license and offering any sort of gambling without such a license is a crime. And even if you have a license to spread poker games in Las Vegas you can’t just open up business in California or Atlantic City without apply for licenses in those states either. No online poker site has any such license. And basically what the law says (generously paraphrased) is that if the wager is illegal on either side of the transaction (i.e. in the state that that player is making the wager from or where the wager is executed) then it’s now a federal crime.


Unlawful Internet gambling is defined as:

* placing, receiving or transmitting a bet
* by means of the Internet
* but only if that bet is unlawful under any other federal or state law applicable in the place where the bet is initiated, received or otherwise made.

So how anyone can say that poker is excluded from this law is beyond me. There have been numerous press articles quoting experts saying that the law is effectively unenforceable which has given some a ray of hope that the law may never be enforced. But if one were to actually read what these “experts” are saying is that coding checks and EFT’s might not be possible thus the law would be unenforceable for those two payment methods. But companies like Neteller specifically know that their transactions are used to facilitate illegal wagering. And for those who who think Neteller is exempt from US laws, I’ll quote Humphrey’s analysis:

Some commentators have expressed the view that operators can avoid the application of the ban by accepting funds only through online financial intermediary e-wallets like NETeller and FirePay. The commentators reason that those intermediaries are located offshore, are not “financial institutions” and are not subject to direct regulation by the Federal Reserve Board (“Fed”) or other U.S. governmental agencies.

The commentators are wrong. Section 5362(4) defines “financial transaction provider” to include any “…international …payment network utilized to effect … electronic fund transfer[s]…”

If that were not enough to grant the Fed power to impose include NETeller, et al, in its regulations, the Act also grants regulatory and enforcement powers to the Fed and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). The FTC’s enforcement authority specifically applies to financial transaction providers not otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of any Federal functional regulators. The Fed’s regulatory power also includes the authority to adopt policies and procedures designed to prevent the acceptance of financial transactions prohibited by Section 5363.

It is a legal maxim that a law cannot be circumvented by doing indirectly that which cannot be done directly. If it appears to the Fed or the FTC that these financial intermediaries serve primarily as conduits for transmitting funds to online gambling operators, then either one of them could adopt regulations or seek enforcement sanctions effectively banning U.S. financial institutions from dealing with those intermediaries except on stated conditions designed to prohibit the intermediary from retransmitting the funds to online gambling operators.

So, the Fed clearly has authority to regulate Neteller’s business with US customers.

There’s been a great deal of confusion about how the US can regulate offshore companies like Stars or Neteller and I can only assume that those who are confused know very little about how the US legal system works. Anytime you transact with a US citizen who is physically located in the US, you make yourself subject to US laws. It’s perfectly legal for Stars to allow UK citizens to gamble because Stars is in a country where such businesses are allowed and there are no laws barring a UK citizen from gambling online. But when you take bets from US customers while they are physically in the US, you are subject to US laws. I recently explained it to someone by saying that selling, possessing, or using marijuana is illegal in the US. A US citizen can go to Amsterdam and toke up all day long and not be in violation of any US laws. Nor would the Bulldog Cafe be in violation of any US drug laws for selling a US citizen a few joints while the US citizen is in Amsterdam. But the Bulldog Cafe cannot sell marijuana to US citizens while they are in the US. The Bulldog Cafe can’t set up a website and sell joints to US citizens.

So, with all of these issues cleared up (hopefully), let’s look at why different companies reacted differently to the law that went into effect Friday and what is likely to happen going forward.

Party, 888, and many other sites closed their doors to US customers. The reasons should be rather obvious. These companies fear US prosecution of their board and executives. So the real question is why did other sites not also close their doors to US customers? First off, I am absolutely, positively convinced that not one executive at those companies actually believes that the law doesn’t apply to poker. Unless they’ve secured incompetent legal advice, I believe that those statements are completely a PR move. They don’t want their customers to think that they are knowingly breaking laws.

In addition to not being public, the other factor that most of the companies who continue to operate in the US share is that they are heavily, heavily invested in the US market. While Party had 75% of it’s business in the US and 888 was near 50%, many of the other companies are likely to have 90% or more of their business in the US and simply couldn’t weather the loss of that business. I’m not privy to their boardroom discussions but I can only assume that most of these companies have seen the writing on the wall and thought that they might be able to continue to operate for another 270 days or so and make as much cash as possible before shutting their doors. Perhaps they’re hoping that some alternative payment systems can be set up that will allow US customers to continue to fund their gaming accounts beyond 270 days but in the end I think this is a grab for cash for as long as it lasts. Neteller is going to become persona non grata with US banks soon. But won’t Neteller be able to get around the law with EFTs since it’s unlikely that they can be coded for gambling transactions? Well, as we saw this week, even foreign banks are issuing warnings about violating the US gaming ban and you can almost guarantee that nearly every US bank will voluntarily stop processing EFT requests from Neteller at some point. The banks aren’t stupid. They know what business Neteller is in. They are also very risk averse which means that they’re not going to risk their business on what is likely an inconsequential benefit.

Most of the companies who are still open aren’t public so their financials are not available for scrutiny but marketing a top notch online gaming site isn’t cheap. It’s likely there’s not a lot of cash sitting in the coffers so when faced with the decision of complying with or defying the US law it’s possible that they looked at what they could cash out with today and decided that they were willing to take the legal risk in exchange for how much ever money they could horde in the next 270 days. I wouldn’t necessarily worry about them skipping town with your deposits — that would make them international criminals with no safe harbor — but extracting every last cent they can from their businesses before all funding methods dry up is certainly within reason. If someone like PokerStars is clearing $1 million a day, that’s an extra $270 million to split up between investors.

None of these companies can go public now. These companies will never float while they are actively engaged in illegal activity because no professional investor is going to touch them with a ten foot pole. And when and if online poker becomes legal in the US, none of these companies will be able to get a license to operate in the US. Who’s going to issue a gaming license to a company that’s been operating in violation of federal laws? Or to put it a different way, if they legalized marijuana possession tomorrow, all those folks sitting in the can for marijuana convictions don’t suddenly become free men. Their violations occurred while possession was still illegal and when and if poker does become legal in the US it won’t change the fact that the US government will still consider the boards and executives of those companies to be criminals. I can certainly envision some companies thinking, as I do, that eventually poker will become legal in the US but I’m unsure of what they believe the end game for them is if it does become legal. Perhaps selling the technology, assets, and customer lists to someone who’s hands aren’t dirty?

One strategy that some of these companies may feel gives them some legal protection is the complex business structures that many have set up. For instance, UB has just completed the sale of parts of its business to some Malta based company which I can only assume is an attempt at distancing its owners from the illegal side of the business. Many of these companies operate what is essentially a maze of shell companies as a way of distancing their executives from the actual business. Perhaps they feel that this complex maze of shell companies will fool US prosecutors to the extent that they can’t go after their executives. I guess we’ll see how successful that is.

One interesting email I received from Full Tilt has me scratching my head though. The email was sent the day prior to the UIGEA being signed by Bush but the language of the email makes it clear that Full Tilt was fully aware that the UIGEA would become law. In that email they say the following:

Play Poker with the Pros on Thanksgiving Day…

If you’re looking for a Thanksgiving to remember, we’ve got tournaments that are sure to whet your poker appetite. Starting October 15th, we’re running weekly qualifiers to our Full Tilt Poker Championship at Red Rock where you can win a trip to Las Vegas and have a chance to play poker with the pros on national TV on Thanksgiving Day.

To earn your seat, just look for our weekly Red Rock Championship qualifier tournaments at 8:30PM ET on Sunday nights. Registration for these tournaments costs just 5,000 Full Tilt Poker points and satellites begin for as little as 500 points. Sign up today and you could spend Thanksgiving with the pros in Las Vegas.

So, Full Tilt is going to run qualifiers to win a seat to a televised final table at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas. When I read that I almost fell out of my seat. You couldn’t possibly thumb your nose at the law any more than to televise a tournament in which at least one player has earned his way there via your illegal activities. There are only a few logical explanations:

1. Full Tilt will not actually have any staff at the event. No super-sized check ceremony with the CEO or anything else that involves Full Tilt employees.

2. Full Tilt wishes to challenge the law and is planning on having an executive arrested and charged with violating the UIGEA.

3. Full Tilt assumes Fox Sports (I assume it’s Fox Sports since they’ve done all the previous Full Tilt Poker Presents . . . . shows), will cancel the program and the online winner will be compensated in cash for his equity in the prize pool.

4. They’ve completely lost their minds.

No matter how you look at it, it’s an odd promotion to run so close to the bill being signed into law. Even the WPT and the WSOP have said they aren’t taking online qualifiers so there’s a pretty solid belief out there that running qualifiers into live events presents legal risks. Whatever their plan is, it should be pretty interesting.

Though I may sound like a lot of doom and gloom, I think it’s important to cut through the BS that’s being passed off as fact. I could be wrong about a lot of this but whether the US government prosecutes and whether or not something is illegal are two different things. Online poker is illegal (or not specifically legal) in most states. The online poker industry took advantage of the fact that most states simply don’t care enough about the issue to do anything. Washington state is an obvious example of a state that did decide to do something about it and many online poker rooms steered clear of taking business from Washington. Now the matter has been taken out of the hands of the states and their laws are backed by the US government. Anybody who doubts the tenacity of the US government when it sets its sights on something is not a student of history. Sure, the drug war has been a failure but how many millions of people have rotted in jails for drug offenses. Ask them about the tenacity of the US government.

All that aside, I think this may eventually be good for the industry in the long term. It’s finally woken a lot of people up who were more than happy to let someone else fight the battle. Within a few years I feel that we’ll start to see legalized online gaming. First poker and then other games as the tide turns. The law is ignorant and many people who don’t even gamble online are irked at the audacity of the government to go against the wishes of the people to such a degree.

I’ll get off my soapbox for now. Have a good time at the tables!

Bill Rini
Bill Rini is currently the Head of Online Poker for WSOP. He has been working in the online poker industry since 2004 and has held management roles at Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker.

25 thoughts on “Chuck Humphrey’s Analysis and Some More Thoughts on the UIGEA”

  1. Hi Bill, Thanks for the reply.

    I have to disagree with your analysis of my post. Mainly because your reply actually backs up my main points. Essentially what we are discussing is your use of the terms “illegal” and your understanding of being “subject to US law”.

    Please let me go through your reply.

    1) Bill said:
    ————————————————————-
    Actually, I think you’re wrong on this. France has sued Yahoo over things that are only illegal in France and has won.

    http://informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=177100347
    —————————————————————

    As I said in my original post: “So, in fact, you are only *subject* to US law insofar as the country in which you operate agrees with and are prepared to cooperate with the enforcement of that law”

    The point is here, that the US authorities decided to cooperate with the enforcement of the French law. The US allowed the US court to examine whether or not Yahoo was liable. But it was the US who made that decision of whether or not to subject Yahoo to the French law. Yahoo were not subject to it merely by the fact the law exists.

    2) Bill said:
    ——————————————————————-
    China isn’t going to say that a US citizen can’t have a website critical of China if he doesn’t live in China but they can and do say that if you’re a Chineese citizen it’s illegal for you to view that website and it would likewise be illegal for you to produce that website if you lived in China.
    ——————————————————————–

    True, but not really relevant since the US haven´t made it illegal for a US citizen to place an online bet with an offshore website, and, the Chinese government are not saying that such a US website is breaking Chinese law and those involved in that US website will be prosecuted should they ever visit China.

    3) Bill said:
    —————————————————————-
    The US went the other way around and basically said, if you do business with a US citizen while he is in the US, you are subject to US law.
    —————————————————————–

    This is where I think you need to be clearer as some people may well think that “you are subject to US law” means that US law enforcement agents can come and get hold of you and take you to court, wherever you are in the world. Or wherever you are int he world will send you to the US and the waiting law enforcement agents. You would only be subject to US law, in the case of online gambling, should you find yourself in the US.

    4)Bill said:
    ——————————————————————–
    If Amazon sells me a book in California they have to abide by Ca. law even though they’re in Washington. Likewise, it would be illegal for a foreign country to break the laws of the US or states even if it were online.
    ——————————————————————–

    Yes, but if they broke Ca. law there is a mechanism in place in the US to take them to court, agreed by those states. i.e. they are subject to Ca. law because there is a method of enforcing that law.
    If it´s illegal for a foreign country to break the laws of the US then why aren´t those involved in online gaming sites being prosecuted, i.e. why isn´t the law being enforced and punishing those who breaking it if they are subject to it?
    perhaps because it´s legal in the country in which they operate?
    You need to understand that what´s illegal in the US is not necesarilly illegal in other countries.

    5)Bill said:
    ———————————————————————
    But the US is not only a desireable place to live and do business but many international flights stop in the US because of its size. The long arm of the US lawman can easily snatch someone it wants. Perhaps not as easily as if these companies were located in the US but it’s far more likely a successful business person is going to cross into the US than they are to cross into Iran.
    ———————————————————————

    It´s not such a desireable place to live if you want to play a little online poker unfortunately.
    Yes the US lawman has a long reach. It reaches all the way to the edge of US international waters. Sometimes it also reaches into other countries…….. but only where the other countries agree with the reason for it reaching in. Online gambling prohibition is not one of those cases.

    6) Bill said:
    —————————————————————-
    So, you, like many, seem to confuse the likelyhood of extradition with whether or not the act itself is illegal. It is illegal.
    —————————————————————

    In Ireland, Gibralter, the Isle of Man and the Carribean Islands it is NOT illegal to accept bets from US citizens!
    No, I completely understand what “likelyhood of extradition” is and what what the word illegal means. You need to stop talking in absolutes and understand that the word “illegal” is relative….. i.e. relative to where you are in the world when you perform the action.

    7)Bill said:
    ———————————————————————
    The choice you make when you break that law is whether or not you ever want to set foot in the US again. Sure, you could live the rest of your life in the UK or some other country but chances are you just might have some ties to the good ol’ US of A and don’t feel like making a decision that could haunt you for the next 20 or 30 years just so you could line the pockets of stockholders.
    ——————————————————————–

    Exactly, this hits the nail on the head, it all depends on whether or not you are likely to go to the US. If you stay in Europe where you took the bet from the US citizen you don´t have to worry, since it´s not illegal to do that in Ireland and being in Ireland you are subject to Irish laws, not US laws. But if you go to the US you then subject yourself to US laws regarding your taking of that bet when you were in Ireland.
    And we hope this prohibition doesn´t last for the next 20 or 30 years, please.

    Anyway, I argue all the above with the greatest respect to you and the site and thank you for many interesting blogs on the US poker scene.

    mark

  2. Mark,

    Actually, I think you’re wrong on this. France has sued Yahoo over things that are only illegal in France and has won.

    http://informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=177100347

    So, your Iranian example could happen and could also end up with IMDB executives in hot water should they ever travel to Iran.

    Most countries restrict their citizens because they realize that trying to get jurisdiction would be impossible. China isn’t going to say that a US citizen can’t have a website critical of China if he doesn’t live in China but they can and do say that if you’re a Chineese citizen it’s illegal for you to view that website and it would likewise be illegal for you to produce that website if you lived in China.

    The US went the other way around and basically said, if you do business with a US citizen while he is in the US, you are subject to US law. There’s plenty of previous rulings that make this quite reasonable. If Amazon sells me a book in California they have to abide by Ca. law even though they’re in Washington. Likewise, it would be illegal for a foreign country to break the laws of the US or states even if it were online.

    I think some of the confusion is over jusrisdiction. Iran doesn’t pass a law making it illegal for a US citizen to create the IMBD because they pretty much know that the chances of the founders of IMDB coming to Iran are slim and none. But the US is not only a desireable place to live and do business but many international flights stop in the US because of its size. The long arm of the US lawman can easily snatch someone it wants. Perhaps not as easily as if these companies were located in the US but it’s far more likely a successful business person is going to cross into the US than they are to cross into Iran.

    The other part people don’t understand is that a CEO is an employee. Sure, he might make a big fat salary but if you’re the CEO of an online gaming company making $1 million a year and you could go to 10 other companies and make a similar salary, why would you risk going to jail to make shareholders rich? Same goes for board members. And the same goes for Joe Blow who works as a systems engineer and happens to be a US citizen.

    So, you, like many, seem to confuse the likelyhood of extradition with whether or not the act itself is illegal. It is illegal. The choice you make when you break that law is whether or not you ever want to set foot in the US again. Sure, you could live the rest of your life in the UK or some other country but chances are you just might have some ties to the good ol’ US of A and don’t feel like making a decision that could haunt you for the next 20 or 30 years just so you could line the pockets of stockholders.

  3. It´s a good blog, but I think the following quote from the blog oversimplifies things a bit and just confuses the issues arrising from internet´s ability to cross international jurisdictions.

    “But when you take bets from US customers while they are physically in the US, you are subject to US laws”

    What exactly does that mean? In what way would I, as an offshore gaming site, be *subject* to US laws?
    To me, being subject to a law is defined as suffering the appropriate punishment should you break the law. And that those who enforce the law have the ability to punish you.
    An action can be either legal or illegal in the place where the action takes place. Acceptance of a bet from a US customer is not illegal in the Isle of Man or anywhere else that offshore gaming sites operate.

    Another rather dubious analysis from the blog

    “I recently explained it to someone by saying that selling, possessing, or using marijuana is illegal in the US. A US citizen can go to Amsterdam and toke up all day long and not be in violation of any US laws. Nor would the Bulldog Cafe be in violation of any US drug laws for selling a US citizen a few joints while the US citizen is in Amsterdam. But the Bulldog Cafe cannot sell marijuana to US citizens while they are in the US. The Bulldog Cafe can’t set up a website and sell joints to US citizens”

    No they can´t, because the DUTCH government has made it illegal to do that, so bad example!
    Let´s expand on the Blog´s logic.

    Iran makes it illegal for websites to give information about Hollywood films as it believes, oh i don´t know, they are a corrupting influence or attempt to rewrite history or something. An Iranian student accesses the IMDB.com and reads all about the latest Steve Segal offering. So according to the blog´s logic IMDB is now *subject* to Iran´s law about Hollywood websites? Rubbish!!!!!

    Why haven´t the US government been seeking the extridition of Gaming site board members then if they are subject to US laws. Just as the US wouldn´t send the owners of IMDB to Iran for any kind of trial, no European or carribean government would send gaming site owners/directors for trial in the US. Just as the US would fundamentally dissagree with Iran´s law on hollywood websites so the European goverments fundamentally dissagree with online gamblng prohibition (check out the UK government´s recent comments on prohibition).

    So, in fact, you are only *subject* to US law insofar as the country in which you operate agrees with and are prepared to cooperate with the enforcement of that law. Just try and send an extradition request for a British Gaming exec via Tessa Jowel, or whatever her name is 🙂

  4. Bayne,

    I’m not 100% sure I agree. Those FT points have value. You’re allowed to exchange them for stuff in the store, right? If you’re wagering your points instead of money, I don’t think that makes any difference in the eyes of the law. I mean, if you wanted to get down into the details, you purchase chips and you wager chips and not money so all forms of gambling that involve chips should be legal. I’m unaware of any court who has taken that position so I would have to assume that as long as you wager something that has tangible value (e.g. not toothpicks or something silly) the courts are going to view that the same as a money wager.

    Now, if the guy wins via a freeroll that’s a bit of a different story. Of course, that still does nothing to negate the fact that the company has been accepting illegal wagers since Oct 13. Any FT exec who shows up at that tournament would still be subject to possible arrest.

    Bill

  5. Think you overlooked one important factor in Full Tilt’s Thanksgiving Tournament: Buy in is with Full Tilt Points. I have a balance greater than 5,000 points from before UIGE was signed.

    Think there are also free satellite’s that get you into weekly tournament that don’t require points. It’s unlikely but possible that everyone who wins there way to Red Rock has not made a financial transaction or $ bet since Oct. 13.

  6. Imagine if the feds actually arrested Doyle Brunson. The negative publicity would be immense. It would be like arresting Santa Claus.

  7. All the folks complaining that the bill is hypocritical (carveouts for horse racing, state lotteries, etc.) need to wake up. Laws are not born out of a spirit of fairness or genuine problem-solving, they are the product of the machinations of hundreds of pressure groups and voting blocs. As the old saying goes, those who love sausages and the law should never watch either being made.

    Of course the law is hypocritical and silly, but that doesn’t matter. Not at all. Stop complaining about it.

  8. Obviously this law was pandering to the religious right, and especially to Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who made banning online gaming a priority. Frist wants to run for President, the first primary is in Iowa, and having Grassley owe him would help Frist’s chances (ludicrous though they may be) there.

    I don’t think the Feds will make prosecuting people who gamble online a priority. Actually, I think it’s quite likely they won’t give it more than passing attention. The people responsible for it will trumpet its passage to score political points, but it probably won’t be funded fully enough to put real teeth in it. I doubt Bill Frist dreams of seeing Chris Ferguson and Greg Raymer in handcuffs. He’s cynical and ambitious enough to be satisfied with the law’s mere passage.

    Unfortunately, the way the law in constructed seems to make this irrelevent. Because the onus was placed not on individual players, but on the financial institutions who process the payments (and, of course, on the poker sites themselves). Instead of 50 million poker players as targets, this law goes after the senior managers and directors of those companies. Like Bill said, bankers are inherently risk-adverse. They aren’t going to risk a federal investigation of their company (or of their own conduct) for the sake of, at best, a few million dollars poker players may have on deposit with them.

    Even if the odds of a federal investigation are 1% (or even much less), why would a bank risk it? Even the hint of financial malfeasence could make a bank’s stock tank overnight, plus there’s the possibility of prosecution of the bank’s senior management if they didn’t take steps to block gambling transactions. And as Bill has said, EFT transactions aren’t hard to filter and/or block. Why would a bank do business with Neteller? Why risk it? The cost-benefit ratio is heavily weighted on the wrong side.

    While I don’t think the DoJ will give this law more than cursory attention, it wouldn’t surprise me if they tried making one high-profile case early on. Or at least threatened to. Actually bringing a case could be counterproductive–they might lose. The Feds don’t need to put people in jail for this law to work. They just need people, the right people, to be scared. In that way, everybody loses. Except Bill Frist. Well, until Bill Frist’s Presidental hopes die in Iowa or, perhaps, New Hampshire.

  9. Ultimately this is about money and a protectionist law. Frist and his Religican buddies may be trying to legislate morality, but when money gets ponied up to the table, then the morality issue goes out the window.

    I don’t think Frist is doing this on moral grounds, anyway. He is pandering to the Moral Majority for his ’08 POTUS run and probably to help the US casinos get a piece of the online poker pie. I would be interested to see how much Harrah’s Gaming stock he has bought recently or if he shorted some Party Gaming stock on the LSE. He does have a history of using insider trading info…

  10. I think I’ve figured out why lotteries and racing have exemptions- it’s because they are legal on the state level in most states.

    This kind of sucks because it follows the logic used to ban other forms of gambling i.e.-those forms not legal in particular states are banned.

    So, I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be more productive (probably just a bit less pointless) to try to legalize online gambling in state law.

    All around, this pretty much stinks.

  11. You disgusting fat fuck. Stop whining. Get off your fucking ass and get some work done for Party. They don’t some bitch sticking his nose up their ass so he can get a better severence package, they need a couple thousand users.

    It is unlikely that Party will survive. The analysts are eating them alive and soon you’ll needing a job back in the states.

    I used to like your site, but now I think you are just like all the blogging bitches, long-winded and scared.

  12. You disgusting fat fuck. Stop whining. Get off your fucking ass and get some work done for Party. They don’t some bitch sticking his nose up their ass so he can get a better severence package, they need a couple thousand users.

    It is unlikely that Party will survive. The analysts are eating them alive and soon you’ll needing a job back in the states.

    I used to like your site, but now I think you are just like all the blogging bitches, long-winded and scared.

  13. Drizztdj,

    Given how dumb our current goverment is (The internet is made of TUBES), I doubt they will do anything that doesn’t get them votes.. and it seems that if you are christian and a republican, oh and white, you are the only people that matter..

    Since I’m only 1 of the three, my voice doesn’t matter.. but come election day, if the diebold boxes are NOT in place, my voice will be heard..

  14. I’d still like to see Congress argue (without citing previous exemptions) as to why it ok to play the lottery and/or place wagers on horses via the internet and not poker.

    Or why the US hasn’t made one attempt to regulate the industry before demanding a ban.

    All the talk is about money money money, well… jail time and court costs (ban) vs. tax revenue (licenses and tax rake/winnings) seem to speak rather loudly to a logical person.

  15. I can’t believe the nerve of that guy, using the name “Dr. Phil” like that. We should all stand together against imposters who would impugn Dr. Phil, or any other Phils for that matter, by using their name and acting like a dick on someone else’s blog.

  16. Great catch Bill! I bet we don’t hear from Dr. Phil again.

    Long time lurker, you have some awesome info on here.

    I was wondering why you weren’t promoting full tilt lately.

    Good luck at Party!

  17. Dr. Phil,

    BTW, when you post your IP address is recorded and it seems you’re posting from:

    ip-83-147-135-81.dsl.digiweb.ie

    Hey, if you’re a pissed off FTP guy, say what you have to say without pretending to be just an average player voicing his opinion.

    If we’re talking about fight or flight, you’ve proven which one you prefer.

    Bill

  18. Dr. Phil,

    Well, you can always go to Washington and prove your point by being the test case for the law there.

    Call me what you will but your actions and willingness to risk imprisonment speak louder than your words.

    Bill

  19. “If you think any site that is staying open is “fighting for you” you’re just plain ignorant. The sites still open are in it for one reason, the money. The PR spin is that they’re sticking it to the man but in reality, take away the potential to grab millions of dollars of day in revenue from Party and 888 customers and these guys would have shut there doors the second Bush signed the bill into law.

    It takes money to fight in court, of course they want the money. Larry Flynt didn’t go to court because he wouldn’t make millions still selling porn, he went to prove a point. Most people back down and puss out, old flight or fight instinct, you are obviously a flight person. Some people stand up for what they believe in and aren’t afraid to take a few hits to the head. Nobody said they aren’t making money, of course they want to make money, and that is the motivation to take it to court.

    You ask me to put up or shut up, seems that you haven’t put up anything but a bunch of whining and you should be the one to shut up.

    Dr. Phil

  20. Dr. Phil,

    As an American citizen, I can say that I would like to return to the US one day without doing so in handcuffs. It’s quite brave of you to take such a stance but I don’t remember a Dr. Phil getting arrested in Washington state to protest the law there. Shut up or put up.

    If you think any site that is staying open is “fighting for you” you’re just plain ignorant. The sites still open are in it for one reason, the money. The PR spin is that they’re sticking it to the man but in reality, take away the potential to grab millions of dollars of day in revenue from Party and 888 customers and these guys would have shut there doors the second Bush signed the bill into law.

    Bill

  21. Maybe it’s as simple as not every site is a pussey like the one that you work for. Maybe other places are willing to fight for our freedoms and bring a constitutional case. You can’t go to court unless the US thinks you are breaking the law. Tell party to stop being pussies and step up.

  22. I agree with most of your points; however, the market will always find a way. The drug war is actually a very good analogy because the feds have been unable to stop (or even seriously dent) the drug trade, despite decades of effort and widespread popular support. The war on online poker will not have nearly that level of support, and therefore many fewer resources devoted to it. The names of the operators may change but the games will still be around.

    I often hear the argument that the games will “dry up” with even a modicum of enforcement. This puzzles me, because — again, like the drug war — the biggest losers are always the ones who are the most desperate to play. Doyle Brunson and his peers could make a living playing in illegal Texas home games in the 1950s, after all.

    You are quite right that Full Tilt, Doyle’s Room, UB, and the American pros associated with them have lost their minds. Any American who retains an ownership stake in an offshore poker room is getting very, very bad legal advice.

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