The effects of Black Friday have rippled across the country. But not all of the news is bad. Instead of shutting poker down, the closure of poker sites such as Full Tilt and UB may actually be good for online poker eventually.
The US government has to realize someday that nothing they can do will stop responsible adults from doing what they love to do, which for many of us is playing poker online. The good news is that there are many political leaders that do understand and are diligently working to legalize online poker.
Rockefeller Supports Online Poker
With the country mired in debt, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) issued a statement regarding proposals aimed at trimming $1.29 trillion from the deficit over 10 years.
“There’s lots of talk about reducing the deficit and cutting spending, but we have seen very few specific ideas, especially when it comes to revenues,” said Rockefeller. “The American people are willing to make some sacrifices to help secure a better future by reducing the deficit, but those who are already struggling cannot shoulder the bulk of that burden themselves and it’s shameful to suggest otherwise. Big corporations and the very wealthy must start paying their fair share," he said.
One of Rockefellers proposals is to "crack down on illegal Internet gambling" which sounds bad, but is actually good for online poker: "Establishing online gambling regulations will protect consumers, state’s rights and state sovereignty, and eliminate a huge illegal market that today benefits only countries and companies overseas, saving an estimated $41.8 billion over ten years, and an estimated additional $30 billion for states. (federal estimate from the Joint Committee on Taxation, rough state estimate is based on most states mirroring federal taxes)," he wrote. It is refreshing to see another politician speak out on the obvious benefits of legalizing online poker.
The effect of Full Tilt Poker and UB/Absolute shutting down has actually been beneficial to players who are bonus hunting. It is estimated that due to the shutdown and increased promotions, other online sites have been picking up the players displaced on Black Friday. It is estimated that close to 60% of Full Tilt’s players have already found a new online poker room.
The Cake Poker Network has been the biggest recipient of displaced online players and has seen their membership grow 41% since Black Friday. Traffic is up 15% at PokerStars, the player base at the iPoker Network has increased 13% and PartyPoker has had a 23% increase over the last couple of weeks alone. Over the last year however, online poker traffic overall has dropped by 30% according to recent findings. For year-to-year comparisons: the Merge Gaming Network has had a 113% jump in traffic, 888poker is up 107% and Bodog traffic has increased 39%. The numbers holding no surprise are those of the Cereus Network, home to UB and Absolute Poker that has seen a 95% drop in traffic.
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