How Black Friday Affects Poker Today
Nowadays poker is a relatively uneventful sport. These days the headlines are generally filled with the latest astronomical tournament win or some juicy bit of gossip, but it wasn’t that long ago that the world of Poker nearly came to a premature end.
In 2006 on October 13th the United States instated a law that banned online gambling in the country. With sentences of up to five years in jail, this was a heavy punishment. Many companies removed themselves from the US because of this, as this ruling made it a criminal act to transfer money from a gambling site. However, poker sites such as PokerStars remained as the act made no specific mention of online poker.
But on April 15th, 2011 turmoil began. Reports of bank account seizures, charges of money laundering, fraud and illegal gambling started to circulate. Poker companies and players found their accounts frozen and five top sites were seized, abruptly ending the life of online poker. Over the next few months, there was utter confusion. More sites were shut, players could not access their money and play could only be done for fun. There were convictions made and much lost money.
Now, six years later US online poker sites still operate under serious restrictions. Professional poker players only play abroad as the US only allows a limited number of options and this is only in three states. Poker as a whole, however, has not seen a decrease in the country as the brick and mortar casinos can still fully operate their poker rooms. Because of this, since Black Friday there has been resurgence in clients heading to real casinos once more.
The online poker world is still reeling from Black Friday and until the US changes its attitude, it may never fully recover.