Today I cover:
- The Internet Poker Ban
- Text Links
- Blog Updates
The Internet Poker Ban
“It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong” — Voltaire
The following paragraph, borrowed from an official e-mail statement sent to me by PokerAffiliate.com, sums up the poker ban well:
On 30 September 2006 the US Congress passed the SAFE Port Act which also contained certain provisions known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (the Act) that will affect the processing of payments between US customers and online gaming companies, including PokerRoom.com and the other PokerAffiliate.com brands. The legislation is expected to be signed into law by President Bush within the next two weeks.
I wasn’t planning on discussing this ban, as I didn’t think that most readers would be that interested in it, however many people have been commenting on my blog, PM’ing, IM’ing, and E-mailing me about it so I guess it is more interesting to others than I thought. Many people have been asking me what my thoughts are on this, and so here I go!
First off, I want to make sure that you understand that I know extremely little about the US political and legislative system, and that while I have a decent amount of knowledge and insight into the poker business, that my knowledge is still extremely limited.
That being said, I believe that the biggest threat from this ban is not the actual legal change, but the fear that it propagates. Scared investors are actually the biggest problem here, not the so-called “ban” itself. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, as far as I can tell, targets the financial institutions. It basically makes it harder than it already is, for them to act in any conducive way in the transfer of funds to online gambling establishments.
Now, what many people may not already realize, is that internet poker is already illegal! It has been for a long time, this is just a wild guess, but I’m betting (oops, bad choice of word there…) that it was when the Wire act was updated to factor in the Internet. As a result, it was already near-impossible to deposit into online gambling sites with a credit card. The answer? Third-party monetary systems such as Neteller. Based offseas somewhere that I forget, Neteller, a payment system similar to PayPal, quickly solved the credit-card problem by acting as an intermediary.
The poker industry is huge, and they won’t simply stand down and let the US government walk all over them. There will be a way, I’m sure, that they find to stay alive. The question now is if the US government tries to somehow shut down Neteller… by somehow forbidding US banks to deal with them I guess. Although even if that occurs, I’m sure there will be other ways for users to fund themselves online.
That being said, there is no doubt that this hurts the gambling industry. However, it’s more the result of fear, scared investors pulling out, among other factors, than it is the actual law.
It’s a shame.
I knew about this bill many months ago, it had unsuccessfully tried to be heard on the floor of Congress several times before, but nobody cared about it (rightfully so!) enough to even vote on it. Then Senator Frist and the Republicans (Watch out, I may start to get a bit politcal and biased here!) watered down the legalities and wordings of the act, and attached it to the Port bill! Tell me, please, what on earth does the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 have to do with port security?
Other senators objected to this absurd attachment, but there was nothing they could do. One female senator proclaimed how moronic this was, but that she had to vote for it anyway… how could she vote down the port bill act? From what I’ve read, many people say that this move was purely political strategy by the republicans for the upcoming election.
Anyhow, I’ll leave that as it is and get to how this affects me. Obviously this is not a good thing and definitely hurts me. I’m a realist, but I also think optimistically when situations call for it, like now. Now is the time to not panic. However, many people jump the gun and say uninformed things such as “Haha, now what? You’re going to be broke”. I have no doubt that my income will probably drop as a result of this, but I don’t believe it will “bankrupt” me as a few people have so elegantly put it.
Actually, it’s quite the contrary. This week I’ve been negotiating a fairly large campaign with a new poker start-up company based in Canada. He has a very large budget and plans on renewing and really working with us. He’s a young entrepreneur as well, and has made his fortune in another market, not internet-related. I’m currently working on a proposal with him where I’d get some seed money, around $10,000 or so, to reignite Replayer, in exchange for sole, exclusive advertising on it.
So, while this ‘ban’ definitely hurts the industry and will no doubt hurt me as well, it is not the end of the world, and I believe the people that are running around scared, like chickens with their heads cut off, aren’t sitting down and thinking things through calmly. In fact, this month could be my highest grossing month ever…
And now, it’s time to spam! I’ve been rather preoccupied with buying a condo and tending to e-mails that I haven’t been able to put a lot of time into PublisherForums.com. I won’t lie – the site isn’t huge. There aren’t hundreds of new threads put up every day, but the site does have life. And while my marketing efforts for it have been minimal at best, it still spawns life; with over 200 registered members, there’s usually one or two people on at any given time, and it receives over a couple thousand uniques a week.
However, it seems like a lot of people visit it waiting for others to post. I’d encourange and request that you don’t do the same, and help get it going again by posting! While it’s not the busiest of webmaster forums, one thing I’ve been able to make sure it has lived up to, is that the quality and level of discussion has still been friendly, polite, and professional.
So, help me out! If you read my blog regularly and enjoy it, help pay me back by registering and posting on PublisherForums.com. I’ll really appreciate it and remember it when I’m a billionaire… (Would colour would you like your Porche? Heh.. heh…)
Ack! Not more ads, Tyler!
I’ve updated my advertise page on this blog, TylerCruz.com.
Aside from updating the Alexa, traffic, and PR (Keeps jumping from 2 and 4 on my toolbar, but will be a 4), I’ve also added Text Links.
They are set at only $10 a month, and with my targetted traffic of 900 uniques a day, growing PR and Alexa, and being sitewide, I think that it’s a very fair price.
Anyhow, let’s see if I get any takers
1. Login/Logout Now on Right Side
Since I made the change a few days ago requiring visitors to register and sign-in before being able to comment, I was notified by several people that it was confusing as to how to register or sign-in. The link was located as a small link in the footer, but I’ve now also added it to the bottom of the right side.
2. Advertise page updated
I’ve updated the advertise page’s Alexa, traffic, and PR (Keeps jumping from 2 and 4 on my toolbar, but will be a 4) information. I’ve also added Text Links.
That’s all for now!
Good luck and good earnings!