Many Online Poker Players Don’t Want Harry Reid Bill To Pass

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
online poker

In a survey being conducted by arguably the biggest online poker community forum in the world,, nearly half the respondents have suggested they do not want Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s draft bill for legalizing online poker in the United States to pass.

As of Thursday morning, nearly 340 respondents were leaning towards not wanting the bill to pass while another 440 were leaning towards wanting passage.

The biggest deterrent appears to be a provision that prevents existing operators from allowing US-based customers to play online poker for a 15-minute period after enactment.

One poster commented:

As a player who wanted to take a shot a professional poker in 2011-2012 during my year off of school between college and medical school, I definitely don't want it to pass!

Some other points of contention:  Even after the 15-month “black out” period, there is no firm guarantee that existing operators will be granted a license.  Furthermore, some states are afforded the opportunity to opt out from any federal legislation.  The immediate beneficiaries are expected to be the state of Nevada, whose big corporate casinos for the most part overwhelmingly support such legislation. 

One member of the posting forum offered this:

The 15-month blackout would be a lot more palatable if it were guaranteed that Full Tilt and Stars would be returning to the market immediately afterwords. As it is, it currently looks like there will be an additional two-year delay on them, and I feel wary about big casino-run poker sites that will be of unknown quality. Additionally, I worry that the 15-month blackout may get extended, and am also concerned about my state opting out (though I live in a state that appears to be opted-in by default).

If not for those issues, I would be cautiously optimistic about the bill, but as it is currently, I'm not sure I'm willing to give up playing on FTP and Stars if the payoff may be as long as 4+ years down the road.

Another member had this to offer:

This is definitely a "Forest for the trees" situation. Is this good for poker in the loooonnnggg run. Sure it is. But does anyone want to sit out for possibly 5 years to see that happen? Of course not (unless you happen to own stock in FTP/PS and don't need any US income for 5 years).

But as one poster alluded to, the status quo is not likely to work over the long haul and, with a Republican majority taking over the Congress after this lame duck session, it may be another two years until online poker legislation comes back into play.

Things have gradually gotten worse from a banking perspective over the last few years. It's gotten harder for them to find companies to do eChecks, pay out normal checks, do wires, and other activities. People on FTP (Full Tilt Poker) just had a HUGE issue withdrawing over the past month(there's a big thread in the Zoo about it).

(Poker)Stars/FTP are paying a ton of money out to these shady ass companies that keep popping up to get them to do business with them. The people who work for the site don't really think this is a long term solution, just a temporary one. For a small site like Bodog, sometimes it's easier because they can find a small company to do checks and they slide under the radar. Stars/FTP don't have this option, and are "running out of loopholes to jump through". This is an important thing to point out, not just because they may have troubles cashing people out soon, and not just because this obviously makes it tougher for fish to get money online, but also because it costs FTP/Stars ALOT of money, and effects their bottom line. This effects the VIP systems/Rakeback/Bonuses they are able to offer as well.

It should be noted that the original draft legislation to the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA), currently in effect, that prohibits some forms of online gambling, bares little resemblance to the law that ultimately passed. 

- Christopher Costigan, Publisher