Get prepared for a shift and a limiting in your choices for playing online poker, once you've recovered from the nausea induced in recent days. I predicted some time ago that one of the key elements in the pending legislation concerned the existence of a Draconian, one-sided extradition agreement that essentially allows the United States to seize United Kingdom citizens under the lightest of pretenses. I also said that this did not bode well for poker operations based in the UK, in terms of their allowing U.S. citizens to participate on their sites. It mattered not that the sites were fully legal and licensed. This was all about the U.S. being the bully.
Seems like those predictions were accurate. Accordingly to this article in the London Times, 888 Holdings (Pacific Poker) is expected to announce tomorrow the cessation of servives to the U.S. market; this comes as InterPoker announced it will no longer offer bonuses to U.S. players. Worse, the article indicates that Party Poker may join the rush. As the article infers, "industry sources believe [Party] will also announce a cessation of its services to American punters."
The bottom line: At least for the short term, we're going to lose the UK sites, barring that some of the big names affected (like the PPA and some of the pro endorsers under contract to the largest sites) don't have a motion for injunctive relief ready to go the moment Bush craps through his pen onto the bottom of the bill. That's going to leave us with sites based in places like Costa Rica, Antigua and Malta, which are far less likely to knuckle under to this type of protectionist blackmail.
I guess that now we all know how the mainstream felt the last time the legislative-morality folks got their way. It was called the The Noble Experiment, but it was anything but.