According to TOPS-Poker.org, a pro-poker portal, the US federal crackdown on four online poker sites makes no difference to the large number of real money poker players in the US. They have simply moved from PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, which withdrew from the US online poker market following the crackdown, to online poker sites such as Lock Poker, Sportsbook Poker, and Players Only.
The domain confiscation and subsequent indictment of those associated with the seized domains, although believed to have been a result of Harry Reid’s demands to legalize and regulate the US online poker industry, have hardly served any purpose. The online gaming industry is still illegal in Nevada, and since the federal government has not passed any legislation, big casino brands will hardly benefit from this indictment. TOPS spokesperson Steven Hastings explains the matter further by stating that Reid, who was initially against the legalization of online gambling, suddenly changed his point of view and began to push hard for legalization, following which four prominent online poker sites got thrown out of the US. Hastings voiced his opinion that big casino brands in the US are attempting to monopolize the market even before getting their products ready.
Stating that Reid or any US casino brand cannot be directly held responsible for the recent federal government crackdown on Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker, Hasting says that an anonymous tip was sufficient to set into motion the state machinery that seized the domains of these online poker sites.
The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) made it illegal for foreign online gambling websites to use US financial institutions and banks to process their funds, said Hastings, pointing out that the seized poker sites had found many ways to get around the UIGEA and that this was permitted for several years. Hastings demanded to know why it suddenly became an issue and how the UIGEA, which cannot even clearly define the term “illegal online gambling,” can now be used to demand penalties in billions.
Meanwhile, online poker rooms that welcomed US poker players from Full Tilt and PokerStars are least worried about the UIGEA. Sportsbook.com Poker, which obviously benefited from Black Friday more than any other online poker site, does not receive funds directly from players’ US bank accounts, owing to which it is least bothered by the UIGEA. Obviously, Lock Poker and Players Only are following the same banking methods.