Relocation Service To Help Internet Poker “Refugees”
When the US Department of Justice took action against the leading Internet poker rooms on ‚Black Friday in April 2011 it was not just the companies and their executives for whom the world changed overnight. The livelihood and income of professional online poker players in the United States was also terminated.
Now a new service has been launched by the online poker community Pocket Fives to ease the plight of what it describes as the “displaced poker players in the US”.
Poker Refugees has been set up to help the professional players “take refuge in countries like Costa Rica, Panama, and Canada”. The idea is that once a US-based player has left the United States, can prove residency elsewhere, and a non-US bank account then their online poker account can be unlocked and reactivated.
The services offered by Poker Refugees include helping online poker players get set up again with poker websites, advice on local banking facilities, and finding a place to live in the chosen country.
At both a Federal and state level there are Bills under discussion that would permit a regulated Internet poker market in the United States. The House of Representatives currently has two separate proposals to consider.
But there are few signs of any urgency by politicians to push these measures through despite the desperate need for new tax revenues. Time for anything to be done in the current year is fast running out and 2012 is a presidential election year.
The migration of a handful of professional poker players to other countries, taking their consumer spending and tax dollars with them, is unlikely to sway the argument in favour of regulation. But the very fact that a service like Poker Refugees has been created at all shows the heights of absurdity the US regulatory situation has scaled, when all people want to do is play a game of cards over the Internet.