Despite the US poker shutdown on April 15th, 2011, players inside the United States are registering for new online poker accounts at unprecedented levels.
Online PR News – 09-May-2011 – – TOPS-Poker.org reports that despite the US poker shutdown by the Department of Justice that blocked Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, Absolute Poker, and UB from servicing American players, little has changed in the minds of millions of US-based gamblers who depended on these services for income, competition, or pleasure. A recent study by TOPS concluded that nearly 70% of the American population that was involved with one of the above websites has simply moved on to another online poker provider.
"We think it's pretty funny that these elected officials of our are supposed to be voting based on the average American's best interests and beliefs," said Steven Hastings, a spokesman for TOPS, "yet they tried to shutdown an eight billion dollar a year industry simply because the big US-based casinos are not profiting off of it. On Wall Street its called insider trading, a person doing it is bribing a government official...how the heck can you justify these big casinos trying to purchase a monopoly from Congress?"
Hastings went on to explain that online poker has been a hot topic in various halls of Washington for close to a decade now, with numerous pieces of legislation being drafted to either legalize online poker completely or to block foreign-based businesses from servicing the American population. The problem with most of these bills was that they violated international law, so most of them were shot down before ever coming to an actual vote. The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act of 2006, which blocked financial transactions to overseas online casinos, is the only piece of legislation at the federal level that even remotely applies to online poker.
"Until a bill is passed on the federal level that explicitly bans online poker, players inside the United States are going to continue to play for real money," added Hastings on Friday. "As it stands currently, online poker is 100% legal in 41 of the 50 US states and places like Lock Poker are more than happy to accept US customers."
Hastings also pointed out that the estimate of seventy percent of American players returning to the world of online poker could easily be misleading, evidenced by the thousand of emails that TOPS-Poker has received from patrons that have never before placed an online wager. Residents from almost every state in the nation has sent in inquiries about the legality of poker in the United States, how to deposit money at an online poker room while complying with the UIGEA, and advice on websites that still accept American players.
"Honestly, we think that in the long run these online poker shutdowns will eventually be the best thing that has ever happened in this industry," said Hastings. "We predict that within the next six months, online poker will reach all-time highs because of the media attention that has convinced new players that is a fun, legitimate way to gamble. Once again, it appears that the US government did things completely backwards; it would have made much more sense for them to do this after they legalized online poker and had US-based websites ready to go."