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Poker News: October 16, 2006

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Copyright © 2006 Casino Gambling Web, Ltd.

HEADLINE: World Series of Poker Ready for the Hit

Author: Susan Torres

The 2006 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas last July and August reached new heights as television revenue and advertising surged, spectator turn-out was obsessive, and the game of poker seemingly turned average men into superstars. The games themselves were skillfully executed, while the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas kept spectators coming back for more. The first place prize of over $12 million dollars was the largest in the history of the WSOP. For 2 straight weeks, news poured out of Sin City as the excitement and tension grew. The game of poker was in it's golden age. People who didn't really know much about poker or couldn't understand the WSOP structure were still following the event. Everything was going so well.

Fast-forward to Friday, October 13th, 2006. President Bush signs the Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, originally drafted by Representatives James Leach and Robert Goodlatte, then hurried through the Senate by majority leader Bill Frist. The new bill seeks to cut-off the flow of money from online poker players to UK-based poker websites. The new bill literally affects over 20 million Americans and crushes the online poker world as evidenced by the destruction of UK poker stocks in London. The purpose of the new law is to prevent 20 million Americans from playing poker online.

So, how does this new legislation affect the World Series of Poker and similar events? Well, many Vegas insiders say the World Series of Poker is going to take a tremendous hit, mainly from advertisers and also because the event will not draw the attention it did in the past. With their ability to generate public interest using online poker tournaments cut-off, and the fact that millions of Americans might stop playing poker, the game could quickly fall out of the mainstream, leaving behind only those with a true passion for the game. This will become a huge problem for WSOP promoters because the event cannot thrive on that alone. The event needs new players and spectators each year, as well as confidence from their advertisers.

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