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Showing posts with label Joe Barton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joe Barton. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The PPA Sends Out a Notice to Support the Barton Bill for Online Poker

What’s in the bill?  Why should I support it?  Hey look over there it’s a shiny object!

moneyIn what has recently and especially since BLACK FRIDAY been typical PPA fashion, the PPA has released an email to members asking them to support the Joe Barton bill (H.R. 2366 The Online Poker Act of 2011) saying “The bill will restore your online poker rights by allowing licensed companies to offer Internet poker with real money play to U.S. residents”

  1. Really?  First, the idea that my rights will be “restored” implies I had some rights in the past, lost them, and now I have them again.  Did I used to have rights?  The DoJ says no.  Logic says yes.  If I did have rights before then they never went away did they?  No, they were just trampled on by villains…
  2. This bill does not NEED your help.  It is a pre-ordained second footfall from the legislation that has already passed in Nevada to let the huge US land casinos take control of the online poker industry in the US for the next 3 years which is 2 freaking years past the Mayan end of the world.

The specifics that I am interested in are the following:

  1. Will we be limited to play against only other US players or will these newly licensed cardrooms be opened to the rest of the world? (hint to US “rest of world” is the correct answer).
  2. Will there be limitations on the financial tracking the US can do for US players?  Yes there’s going to be some sort of tax component (although the majority of that should be a tax the CASINOS pay not just enforcement of US income tax.  For US income tax purposes the information the govt. gets should not be in detail form but some sort of summary annual number and hopefully a net number (total won-total lost for example) like they do on W2 forms for regular employees.

The things I’ve seen mentioned like the draft bill containing a clause that consumers couldn’t use credit cards to finance their accounts is silly.  First because you can easily bypass that regulation by getting a cash advance and shoving it in your checking account and second because it’s already very hard to finance gambling with a major credit card in the US because of the ruling that US citizens aren’t responsible for gambling debt to the card owners so they get a one time pass on any gambling they charge to the card (of course if you invoke the rule they ban you from credit cards forever).

So What Should You Do?

Nothing!  Just sit back and relax and watch the show.  Everything will be over very soon now…

Friday, June 24, 2011

Joe Barton Releases Poker Bill and PPA Instantly Applauds It!

Shouldn’t we read it first?

Well Today (June 24, 2011) Joe Barton’s bill was released earlier than at least Joe Barton imagined (as early as a couple days ago he was predicting probably 2-3 weeks even though many sites have reported it would be released this week).  Pocket Fives has the bill online and you can read it here.

My first browse of the bill makes it seem fairly decent.  There are going to be issues that will be talked about, like only US players being able to play against other US players and the financial tracking the US government will now be able to do one all your poker wagers, oh and the tax collection and distribution by the licensed online poker venue itself.  Any of those could become big issues, but the truth is nothing can stop this legislation at this time the same way nothing could stop the Patriot Act when it was introduced after September 11th.  Online poker players are hungry and afraid and they’ll sign up for anything that lets them start earning money again.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Online Poker to be Legalized by Tuesday! Obama Defies Gravity and Becomes Defacto Protector of Sector 2814

if there isn’t any real news we can make it up as good as everyone else!

barack-obama-green-lanternStill nothing much is actually NEW.  The excitement out on the street is that the bill co-sponsored by Texas representative Joe Barton could arrive as early as the end of this week, which the various news blogs and so on have morphed to “WILL ARRIVE THIS WEEK AND INSTANTLY REGULATE ONLINE POKER” which is not going to happen.  The fact of the matter is that the Nevada land casinos are already hard at work (don’t worry how I KNOW THAT land casinos, get back to it) on putting together the regulation infrastructure necessary for handle online poker.  If they work REALLY fast the soonest that’s going to happen is early 2012 so it really doesn’t matter much how fast the Federal legalization comes as long as it happens near the time Nevada casinos are ready to cash in on it.

Here’s the actual rundown so much as I know (and I’ve had my ear to many a door as of late):

Full Tilt Still Has Not Paid US Players: In fact, they haven’t even credited the accounts of most US players with the funds that they will eventually be paid.  An article on Subject: Poker on June 16th talks about a 60 million dollar shortfall they created by essentially giving players “loans” when the players deposited money on the site but Full Tilt didn’t have a payment processor to debit their accounts.  Since Black Friday this has sort of sealed the loss for Full Tilt and may be part of the accounting difficulties they are experiencing which of course are in addition that they just plain don’t have the money to pay US players.

The Joe Barton Poker Bill: He’s drafting it and they keep quoting him as saying online poker’s been legal but the bank funding has not, which is incorrect.  The DoJ clearly thinks that online poker is illegal (regardless of the truth) and the funding woes of all online poker sites trying to service the United States are due to the UIGEA which only applies if online poker is illegal.  So basically the DoJ is the bully which is saying they think it’s [online poker] illegal and if you’d like to try your luck funding it you might just disappear in a bleeping hole.  Obviously none of the other crimes like providing bank executive bonuses, funding player accounts with golf balls or providing hot oil massages to bank employees would be necessary at all if the banks weren’t 100% convinced by the DoJ that online poker is 100% illegal and therefore under the enforcement of the UIGEA in the first place.

Phew!  Having said that, online poker is actually legal, just no one wants to risk their life or freedom to prove that especially when state and federal bills which will effectively legalize the industry are so close.

UB.com and AbsolutePoker (Cereus Network) Payouts:  Honestly I think we’re all going to probably have to give up on this one.  The amount of business they are doing post Black Friday just isn’t going to be sufficient to generate money to pay back the US customers they owe.  Take a trip over to Poker Scout and check it out for yourself.  Maybe in the long run this is the best thing.  Cereus made some horrible decisions and they still refused to fix their infrastructure including customer support and fraud prevention.  I’m not saying they were actively cheating anyone in 2011, but they weren’t doing as much as they should have to be responsive to customers and to protecting their online interests.  Full Tilt Poker is also guilty of many of these issues especially with regard to poor customer service.  I sincerely hope that the next wave of online poker uses PokerStars as a model.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Republican Joe Barton joins Harry Reid in Effort to License and Regulate Online Poker

Most of the time they hate each other with Joe Barton even apologizing to BP about the congressional inquiry regarding the oil spill.

joe_bartonOnline poker was crippled in the United States by a huge wake left by the US Department of Justice and the April 15th, 2011 indictments against three of the biggest online poker rooms in the world.  Those actions left at least 50,000 people without income the depended on to support themselves and their families.  I count myself among this group.

Since that time there has been action in Las Vegas where they have passed a state bill that will enable to well established land casinos (think Caesars and MGM Grand) to take control of licensing when and if a federal law enabling it is passed.  Well, here comes the other foot.

What seemed impossible before with several key republicans ready to block pro-gaming legislation, is now possible because of Rep. Joe Barton’s position as chairmen emeritus of the Energy and Commerce committee which is where they’ll launce their co-sponsored bill.  The trick here is giving the Commerce department the authority to license new online poker operators.  Ok so the shell is under the Commerce department cup—keep following the cups with your eyes there will be a test later.

Even though I don’t like the shenanigans that is attached to this recent round of internet poker drama I do, like so many other poker plays, want a solution for the US, so that we can once again play poker from our homes and promote poker playing opportunities to other Americans.

Someone drop an egg timer, let’s see how long it takes this bill to become a law.