Canada Cal here, filling in for Haley, who's on the mend---
This one's not specifically about poker, but then again, maybe it is. There's a new service trying to start up at betcha.com, which is going to serve as... well, how to describe it: A dating service for sports bettors?
What betcha.com plan plans to do is to allow people to meet up with each other through their service to make bets with each other, with betcha.com not involved in the betting themselves. Where betcha.com comes into the picture is through the awarding of ratings points for bettors that faithfully pay up any bets they may have made --- gold stars, if you will, for honoring one's debts.
Betcha.com also makes it abundantly clear that it's perfectly okay for people to not pay their lost wagers if they don't want to, which of cpurse would then bring negative reviews, like eBay feedback points or the like. except, if you get even one bad rating, no one's likely to ever trust with you with a freely placed bet again.
Now, betcha.com figures they'll avoid any problems with the UIGEA or similar laws because in their opinion the lack of forced consideration precludes this from being a form of "gambling" under the law. (Whether they'll succeed with this, should someone decide to go after them, remains to be seen.) But with no forced payment connected with the placing of a wager, betcha.com is proclaiming loudly for all to hear that it doesn't consider itself a gambling service.
How the site will make its nut wasn't really detailed in the releases offered to date. Maybe they'll sell site memberships, making sure to send out some some worthless pseudo-guide of bettors' tips to justify the fee.
It's a neat exercise in following the money, should betcha.com or some similar idea succeed. The UIGEA is designed to choke off the money, largely from sports betting, with poker just guilty by association. But the money the UIGEA is designed to choke off, for all you U.S. folks, is just going to find its way into different channels, far more distributed and far more difficult to trace.