Sorry if my writing have gotten a bit schitzophrenic lately, alternating between calls to the barricades and "Hey, I won a $10 SNG last night!". These are strange days to be a poker blogger in America. We might be an endangered species, a fear that only deepened after I read Bill's post
on the UIGEA today (Bill also just posted
about Neteller's updated position vis-a-vis the UIGEA). I left my two cents in the comments, and unfortunately I pretty much agree with Bill's (and Chuck Humphrey's) analysis. Much of the "good" news coming out lately about online poker has struck me as something like whistling past the graveyard. I don't think "business as usual" is a reasonable expectation at this point. Party's immolation notwithstanding, we haven't seen the full ramifications of this law yet, not by a long shot.
One point Bill raised hadn't occured to me--let's say Stars and Full Tilt defy the law and stay open for US business. What happens if, a year or two down the line, online poker becomes legal for licensed operators? How could these two companies, who openly violated federal law, now expect to have legitimacy conferred upon them? They're in a really difficult position--grab market share and/or profits now before the well runs dry, or batten down the hatches and hope they can hang on until a can't-be-too-distant future when online poker is legal? No one denies that there's a gambling aspect to poker, and now it seems the same can be said about running a poker site.
Or running a poker blog. For nearly two years I've thought about changing my URL or starting a new blog that wasn't so pokercentric. Now I have a bit more incentive to take that plunge. Federal laws will do that to you.