The need for better regulation that is uniform across the industry is now the biggest issue facing online poker and online gambling. Yes I know I am mixing poker and gambling but since most online poker rooms are run by online bookmaking firms inextricably links the two sides of this type of online activity.
The argument for better and uniform regulation was brought into shearing sunlight when Sheldon Adelson – the extreme right wing casino magnate tried to do a hatchet job on online poker, casino and bookmaking. He clearly fears for his business and trying to claim that out of control gamblers were at a bigger disadvantage online than they are in his casino was nothing more than sophistry of the highest order.
As those who look at the banner on this website will notice that we are having problems with William Hill who will gladly take money all day long from players who are losing, but as soon as you have the temerity to win then then will swing their legendary customer services to stall, prevaricate and ultimately refuse to pass monies owed to the punter. They will make up rules and regulations at will to teach the punter a lesson in ‘not playing the game’. Punters are losers and must remain losers.
I would like to see how many accounts have been put under security in which the punter was/is losing? I will bet quite heavy sums of money that it is not many losing accounts are put into quarantine and are then asked to prove who they are by some William Hill Byzantine type ruling before they are allowed to deposit more money to lose. I would be impressed if they did, but, my intuition is saying it never happens.
In fact I will have a bet with William Hill. If they do put into quarantine losing accounts because they want to protect the punter then I will apologise and comply with their wishes, but I will need to see evidence.
Back to the need for uniform rules it is clear that there does need for some clarity into how players funds are separated from the online business accounts. With online poker getting saturated with poker rooms there will be casualties and punters need to know that their money is safe.
In the UK basically the punters are left to their own device. The only hope is for the European Union to help the punter. However, the European Union can be very slow in getting things done. This leaves the US as the real saviour for the punter. Maybe it is because of the unique brand associated with the US with its ‘customer is always right’ philosophy that the best way punters around the world will get better protection is that the US gets on board and put some clout behind improved regulation.