Thanks to the infinite wisdom of the US Gov't and the F.B.I., today will be forever known as the "Black Friday" of online poker. 11 indictments were handed down today against the owners of the "Big Three' poker websites (PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Ultimate Bet/Absolute Poker)and all funds for American players frozen. Not only can the players not continue to pursue their hobby or livelihood but they cannot ever get to their own money.
We can only hope that the websites find a solution to allowing players to at least get back what they have online even if play gets stopped completely. There are literally millions upon millions of dollars in online poker accounts and many players pay their bills with these funds. The audacity of this action against the American people is deplorable.
How dare the US Gov't and it's minions tell taxpaying citizens what they can and cannot with their own money? The government gets more than its fair share from each and every one of them and still feels the need for more. This is bullshit, plain and simple.
Had they bothered to regulate Internet gaming last year when the bill came up, this would all be a non-issue. People can still gamble every day without leaving the comfort of their homes. There are websites that allow folks to invest in stocks...which is a gamble online. They can go to their local convenience store and blow their whole check on lottery tickets if they so desire.
Most people live close enough to go to a local casino and lose their home and this is seen as ok by many...as long as the government gets their cut in taxes. New York has OTB...Florida has dog tracks...Kentucky has horse racing...all of these are just fine..if that's they way you want to lose your money. Poker, whether online or live is NOT GAMBLING as there is a level of skill involved.
Slot machines are gambling, roulette is gambling and blackjack is gambling because the player has no effect on the outcome where in poker, it is the PLAYER that makes the choices of what to play and when. While the cards being shuffled do add the element of chance into the game, ultimately it falls to the player whether or not to play their hand and whether or not they can outright beat or bluff their opponent. Poker is a psychological game of cards, not just putting your money up and hoping the outcome is in your favor.
With any luck, this action will propel the US Gov't into making a real decision on the fate of online poker. The players will unite against the powers that be and their voice will be heard. Whether the officials in DC like it or not.