Many Concerned That Poker Ban Could Spur Negative Effects

With the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, online poker sites have begun shunning away US players.

The act, also referred to as UIGEA because of its long moniker, was a legislation passed late September after being attached to an unrelated Port Security Act. The new law seeks to ban most forms of online gambling by preventing banks and credit card companies from handling online gambling related transaction.

And by gambling, they mean games of chance, including poker in their vocabulary. But many are concerned that while many companies have played by the rules and shut their doors to Americans, three will stay open and bend the rules.

Its could be seen as a retro-prohibition, like when the time the US government banned alcohol sales in the 1920's. Almost a century afterwards, Al Capone is still a celebrity.

"Prohibition of online poker will only drive the game underground and build distrust and misunderstanding," said Michael Bolcerek, president of the Poker Players Alliance.

"The hardcore ones will find somewhere, they won't care whether it's regulated," Bolcerek said. "That's what a prohibition does."

The PPA wants poker to eventually become regulated (but legal) in the United States, but for now, they would just like it off the banned-list, saying that poker is not merely a game of chance, it is a game of skill.