Monday, October 09, 2006

Uncertainty driving cashouts

Gracie from sheverb and "ScurvyDog" from Sound of a Suckout get interviewed by the AP on the impact - both current and future - of the Internet Gambling Bill. Highlights...

Internet poker players and other gamblers in the U.S. have withdrawn thousands of dollars from their Web-based accounts while some gaming sites have raced to block U.S. residents' access to online poker, casinos and sports-betting just a week after Congress approved a ban on banks doing business with the sites....

Gracie Logan, 40, of Gainesville, Fla., was one of the poker boom's early players, who started playing after seeing Moneymaker win on TV. Between Monday and Wednesday, she withdrew "a few thousand dollars" from her online poker accounts after hearing about the bill's passage and will instead likely play live poker with friends or on casino boats along the East Coast.

"I'm not a professional poker player, but I have enough (in the accounts) that I was concerned about pulling it off-line," Logan said. "I won't be reloading until the climate settles down. ... There are so many alternatives for live games here. There's a thriving poker community in my town."

The changes in the online poker industry were even harder for Seth Shafer, 32, of Lockhart, Texas, who said he stands to lose up to $40,000 a year in revenue from gambling, blog advertising and signing up new players on gambling Web sites. He said he also has pulled out thousands of dollars from gambling sites.

"The primary reason for me was uncertainty," Shafer said. "The worst-case scenario was what I was imagining - everyone withdrawing simultaneously and not enough money to go out and PartyPoker declaring bankruptcy and going insolvent - you would be at the very bottom of a long list of people asking them for money.

I'm one of those people who cashed out, although nothing near the "thousands" enjoyed by Gracie and Seth (reminding me of what small beer I am in the online poker community), and like Gracie won't be reloading until the dust settles. Titan Poker has apparently closed US players accounts, now too. FullTilt is claiming that business is as usual with them - although we'll see what happens when the bill is signed by Bush. Still no word from either of my two favorite sites, UltimateBet and PokerStars.

Lots of money at stake here, folks, and just not betting money. Take a look at ScurvyDog's post here for elaboration on why he is looking at losing between $30-40k a year thanks to the law.

No comments: