Over 50,000 US Poker Pros Unemployed After Black FridayApril 28, 2011 1:03 pm
The US economy has continued to languish in the doldrums since the global economic downturn of 2007.
With a national debt of $14.3 trillion and unemployment at 9.6% you would expect the US government to take some creative steps to help lift the economy out of its current black hole.
Whilst debating the merits of legalizing online poker a congressional report estimated that around $42 billion in revenue over a ten year period could be raised for the U.S. government.
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In addition, a study by H2 Gambling Capital concluded that around 32,000 jobs would be created over five years in the event of the US online gaming industry being regulated.
Therefore, after carefully weighing up its options the US authorities decided to, yes you guessed it, effectively shut down America’s online poker industry rendering an estimated 50,000 plus poker professionals unemployed.
What makes the government’s decision all the more perplexing is that gambling already exists all across America from lotteries to casinos, and as Capian Enterprises founder Kate Moulene puts it:
“Saying it’s okay to play poker in a casino but not at home is like saying you can go have a drink at a bar but it’s illegal to have a glass of wine at your dinner table.”
However, the US government rather than legalizing and taxing these online poker sites decided instead to shut-down PokerStars, Full Tilt and Absolute Poker’s US operations causing mass un-employment in the industry.
Making matters worse is the fact that many players also have money tied up on these sites, which they are unable to touch pending the Department Of Justice indictments.
One such player is Michael D, 38, who explains: “You have these tens of thousands of U.S. players and millions of casual players who want to play on occasion and these people have money tied up and are suffering more than [PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Ultimate Bet] ever will. I don’t know the reasons behind the DOJ’s actions, but it seems like there might be broader ramifications than they considered. They didn’t have the foresight to see how people would be impacted by what they did.”
Meanwhile, as 50,000 plus US poker pros find themselves short on cash and in the un-employment line, the country’s National Debt continues to rise by an average of $4.08 billion every day.