With the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act on Friday, online poker rooms had a decision to make about how to move forward with U.S. players in the face of the pending legislation. The rooms have shown very different reactions to the passing of the bill, and that may be the most interesting statement of all. What we present below are official statements we have received or seen from the rooms themselves. If a room has not issued an official decision yet, we note that. Some of your favorite places to play, listed below.
Party Poker have issued an official statement saying: "After taking extensive legal advice, the Board of PartyGaming has concluded that the new legislation, if signed into law, will make it practically impossible to provide U. S. residents with access to its real money poker and other real money gaming sites. As a result of this development, the Board of PartyGaming has determined that if the President signs the Act (the Internet gaming bill is known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006) into law, the Company will suspend all real money gaming business with U. S. residents."
Full Tilt have issued an 'open letter' via their website that says, in part – In the short term, we assure you that your online experience at Full Tilt Poker will not change. You will still be able to deposit and withdraw money from the site using the same methods and payment processors you have always used, and your money will remain completely safe and secure. We cannot predict how the online poker experience may change in the future, but we do not expect any immediate impact from the legislation, as the banking industry has 270 days to implement new rules after the bill is signed.
It is also important to note that, once signed, the new legislation will not criminalize individuals for playing poker online. Instead, the bill will eventually attempt to prevent the transfer of funds to online gaming.
Poker Stars have issued a statement saying they haven't decided what to do yet.
Although we cannot find an official statement on a company website, or through e-mail, multiple media outlets are reporting that Paradise Poker have announced their intention to stop taking action from American players through their parent company, Sportingbet. The only official statement on the company website says that Sportingbet are still evaluating the legislation, and will release a statement shortly.
Ultimate Bet have replied to inquiries saying they expect to continue to be business as usual, and don't anticipate any changes.
Absolute Poker Responded to inquiries (in part) by saying "We want to assure you that Absolute Poker games are still available and that you can continue to enjoy the site as you always have. The new law does not change the legality of playing online games nor will make us close any US customer accounts."
Bodog Reponded to an e-mail with a lengthy reply, the crux of which was "It is definitely our full intention to continue doing business with customers in the United States."
Thanks to the members of the 2+2 Forums for some source material on this story. As we get more responses from rooms, we will add them into this story. Keep checking back to PokerNews.com for more info.