More Doyle and UIGEA thoughts

The other day, I posted how Doyle Brunson was kind enough to make some sort of arrangement with Full Tilt Poker, in that there will be a dollar for dollar transfer for US Players. While I respect the fact that he thought of the US Player when this whole thing went down, I cannot help but recall the words he sent to each and every player shortly after UIGEA was enacted.

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Shortly after UIGEA was enacted, Doyle Brunson sent out the following email:

Hi this is Doyle Brunson,

I know many of you will be concerned and dismayed about the bill signed into law by the President today.I want to confirm to all existing and potential poker players that it’s business as usual here at Doyle’s Room and we continue to accept players from all over the world including the United States of America.

We at Doyle’s Room have taken extensive legal advice and believe that it is far too early to fully understand the implications of this bill on our industry. Based on the legal advice we have received, the new bill does not make internet poker expressly illegal nor does it take aim at players who enjoy online poker. However, there are some U.S. States that have existing regulations in place that may prohibit online gaming, so we encourage all of our U.S. players to review the laws of the State in which they reside.

Until such time as the law becomes clearer, Doyle’s Room will operate as normal with our full exciting range of games and tournaments at all limits. And finally, please rest assured your money is completely secure at Doyle’s Room.

I personally guarantee it.. "

Doyle makes the following claims in his email:

1. Biz as usual at Doyle's Room.
2. All players worldwide are welcome.
3. They've taken legal advice - based on said advice:
a. UIGEA does not make online gambling illegal for US citizens.
b. Certain states within the US prohibit online gaming.
4. Until the laws become clearer, this will be their posture.

With the sale of Tribecca to playtech, this puts Doyle's Room in a "spot." The network in which his poker room resides is moving to a non-US friendly poker network. This result is that US Players are no longer welcome to play at Doyle's Room. Thus, 1 and 2 above no longer apply.

To the best of my knowledge, three A and B are still relivant. Additionally, the laws in which UIGEA stands for are no more clear than they were the day it was signed into law. In fact, I would argue they're moreso vague than they were on the day of signing.

This seems to be moreso of a business decision to go along with exiting the US Market than a legal one. If in fact it was a legal decision - meaning he takes the posture of "this shit is just not legal, Later Americans..." he'd not have cut a deal with Full Tilt to take dollar for dollar transfer of Doyle's Room accounts belonging to the US Players.

Whatever his motivation, this is one less option for US Players still in the game.

What's next for UIGEA?

What now seems like stock speculation, rumours were circulating that Barney Frank (D-MA), Chair of the House Financial Services committee, was considering proposing a two year amnesty on UIGEA pending further study of the law and its effects. "Sources" who understand how our government operates, however, cite doing such a thing would make entirely too much sense for the government to actually propose and follow through on. For that reason, a two year study will most likely happen when common sense actually becomes something every household and member of government possesses.

Then there's the World Trade Organization... The enactment of UIGEA is not in compliance with the WTO's ruling in favor of Antigua over the protectionist policies of UIGEA. While the US will, in my opinion, dismiss the WTO "as is," things "could" get interesting if the European Union steps up to bat for Antigua. Such a move, however, is not a "high priority" on the EU's agenda. The WTO is expected to render their final ruling in March as to whether or not the US is in violation of trade agreements.

What does all of this mean?

Unfortuantely, I have no clue as to what this all means. I do know it's becoming more and more difficult to fund, play, and remove funds on online poker rooms. While the US Government, some online "money movers," and many poker rooms are posturing as if all of this is definitely unlawful, it still remains unclear whether or not online gambling is or is not illegal for the US player.

What does remain clear, however, is that the squeeze is continuing. Hopefully someone will wake up in position of power with the foresight and common sense to do something about it...


Related Posts

UIGEA repeal in the making?

Doyle Bailing on US

Tribecca headin to playtech

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