For those that have not heard yet, there's a new poker bill circulating in the United States Congress, led by Senate leader Harry Reid. Analysts and those close to the process are indicating a 30-50% chance that this bill passes. I'll attempt to summarize the bill below and discuss a few ideas for preperation, both long and short term for all players, but specifically US players. Please be advised that most of what I know about this bill is at least 2nd hand information. There is a lot of speculation and multiple drafts of this bill circulating. As of now, there doesn't appear to be a final bill circulated, but that could change very quickly. For a good summary on the latest draft of the bill you can check out Riding the F Train's Blog What the Bill Includes It's important to remember that as of now there is no finalized bill, so many key details could potentially change. It's also important to keep in mind that this bill may not pass (or rather the attachment of this bill to a larger bill may not happen), as even the most optimistic people close to the situation haven't publicly estimated the odds of success at over 50% (and some closer to 30%). Nevertheless, here is a short summary of the bill, to the best of my ability based on everything I have read and heard: - The bill would allow some US casinos to enter the US online poker market 15 months after passage. The first 15 months following the passage of the law would become a "blackout period" where online poker in the US would not be allowed. - PokerStars and Full Tilt would have 30 days to withdraw from the US market (as would any other sites applying for a license). - Any existing site would have to wait another ~2 years to have the chance to be approved for a US license and reenter the market. - Existing US serving sites would not be able to sell their company to a site that could apply for a license in 15 months as a way to circumvent or profit from the law. - There would be a tax on the rake, I believe, but no major player taxes or any other tax that might lead to the certainty of raised rake. - Sites that operated in the US market during the 15 month blackout would be subject to hefty fines and penalties (1 million dollars a day and up to 5 years in prison, in addition to a 50% tax on any rake they collect in that time period). - States that wish to opt out of this bill can by the end of 2011 (thereafter, it may take up to 60 days to opt in or out). However, any state that offers online poker on their own will be automatically opted in to this bill. - You must be 21 or older to play online poker after the blackout period. - US sites will be open to US residents only at first, eventually opening to foreign players that reside in a country that allows online poker to be played (I am not sure if this means online poker allowed to be played in the US, or just any country that allows poker. I would assume the former, so not likely to include France, Italy, etc.). What the Bill Means What does all this mean? - Casinos such as MGM, Harrah's and others could apply for a license and begin offering fully legal and regulated online poker in 15 months. - Stars and FTP would have to wait another 2 years to re enter the US market and could not sell to companies such as MGM and Harrah's in the meantime. - Both the 2 year Stars/FTP wait time and the selling points were reported to potentially be removed from one of the drafts, but the latest word is that they are both included in the bill. - Stars and FTP would remove themselves from the US market within 30 days of this bill passing and allow players to cashout for 2 years time, after which they would place any remaining player funds into an escrow account. Stars has already said that they are " ...firmly committed to treating players fairly. Progress towards [VIP and yearly goals] will be given consideration if PokerStars must stop service to a group of players." - Bodog, Cereus and Merge networks are being speculated as not having much of a chance at being licensed in neither the short nor long term. Therefore, many are assuming that these sites will continue to service US players. - Non US players would not likely be able to play with US players for at least 2 years (at least not on any licensed site after the blackout period). - Networks such as PartyPoker, which removed itself from the US market years ago and paid a hefty fine, may be eligible to sell their company or merge their company with an existing US casino that qualifies to apply for a license 15 months after the passing of the bill. This could mean "PartyPoker at MGM.com" or something along those lines. Mergers and buyouts to strengthen site launches in the US market are likely. Връзка с целия тоя шит ако приемат този закон би трябвало споменатите мрежи като Merge, Cereus?? i Bodog да привлекат страшно много клиенти и съответно РБ процентите им биха паднали в бъдеще. Има ли смисъл сега да си правя регистрации с добра сделка и те биха ли се запазили в бъдеще или мрежите могат да намалят РБ си едностранно когато пожелаят??