Why the Latest UK reforms are Dangerous for Poker?

By Debra SaundersGoogle
we now see the UK government’s politicians have also loosely using the term poker to describe slot machines.

This poses a huge threat to online poker in the UK.

Slot machines seem to be the case in question for nearly all governments at the moment, but when some of the politicians start using the words poker machines or pokies, shockwaves start to chill down my spine. It then opens up the possibility that soon someone in cabinet is going to hear this word ‘poker’ used in reference to slot machines and then in a re-shuffle gets the job of dealing with the gambling industry and assume poker and pokies are one in the same. Can you imagine if this person was anything like the London Mayor Boris Johnson! Game over!

Well actually, in Boris Johnson’s defence it wouldn’t surprise me if he likes a punt on the slots or a quick grind on the poker tables.

Nonetheless, we have already seen how the Aussie government interrelated poker and slot machines threating a total ban to online poker sites in the country. Whereas the comments made by Tony Abbot where he mentioned ‘finding it unbelievable someone could access these machines from their mobile phones’ should have been more clearer mentioning his reference was to slot machine. His failure to do so meant for poker fans immediate trouble.

With UK’s Labour already on a similar path calling the slot machines poker machines it won’t be long before British online poker players could be facing similar threats to those of their fellow Aussie online poker faithful.

On the other hand, is there a method to this madness? Are the British and Australian governments using these terms to purposely fake their ignorance? We have seen how well controlled the new US online gambling system is now. $20 million licences, and high tax rates applied to the companies with regulations protecting citizens’ deposits regardless of the gambling sites future financial failings plus all the gaming servers are within the borders of the state.

It seems the end game for the US was to have everything centralised with no offshore gambling companies taking US bets. The gripe the US government had was that many of the online gaming businesses were out of reach of the US tax collectors.

Maybe to get away from the debate that poker is a game of skill and use the statistics of poker slots to show that it is a game of luck, somehow the word poker and machines will be added together with ‘online’ thrown in there and what do you have? A British government doing exactly the same as the US to the British online poker wires. The Aussies are probably on the same path.

On the bright side, both countries will benefit from the licencing fees and the tax revenues forced by gambling laws. Plus the fact that online gaming servers must be in the country and therefore financial transactions on those gaming servers are subject to government tax.

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