It's been another turbulent week for on-line poker. Only last Wednesday Italy announced more freedom for poker players as gambling on and offline was due to be regulated at the turn of the 2007. However, things quickly took a turn for the worse for the industry the following day.
On Thursday, UK Poker News learned that William Hill Poker would stop accepting clients from America. Rival gaming giants, Ladbrokes, have never accepted customers from the USA so, this news was not a hugely surprising move, especially given the recent arrests on gambling charges of European executives in America.
As the dust settled, attention switched to America and, to be more precise, Senator Bill Frist from Tennessee and his attempts to get The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 passed Congress. Shockingly, as reported at our parent company at the weekend, the Online poker bill was passed.
The bill outlaws the funding of on-line gambling accounts from US banks. American banks must now monitor transactions and block transfers from accounts to on-line gambling companies.
As our Editor in Chief, John Caldwell, rightly points out. The fallout of this bill will only be seen in time. How will it affect Neteller, Firepay and other on-line companies which can be used to fund a poker account? How about overseas bank accounts owned by American citizens, will they be affected? At this early stage it is impossible to say.
One thing is looking certain, as we go to press this morning, shares in on-line gambling companies look set to be hit hard on the back of this news. Stay tuned to UK Poker News for the latest on this and any fallout to gaming share prices as the day goes on.
Ed note: There are no such worries for UK poker players. Download Bodog Poker and get an unlimited, instant 10% cash bonus