Thursday, November 13, 2008

Microgaming Institutes Block in Response to Domain Seizures

As regular readers of this blog know, over the past few weeks, the hottest news in the world of poker has been the seizure of poker related domain names by the Governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear. If you are a new reader and aren't familiar with what has been taking place in Kentucky, take a minute to go back and read the last couple of posts that have been made on this topic. The events taking place in Kentucky are quite serious, and even if you don't realize it, what's happening there has the ability to impact every single US citizen who takes part in playing poker online.

A great example of the far reaching impact of the Kentucky case has arisen from Microgaming. As a well-known name in the online poker industry, Microgaming is one of the companies that has been targeted by Governor Beshear and the State of Kentucky. Like most of the other companies involved in this event, Microgaming initially used many of their resources in an attempt to fight the original decision that was put forth by the State of Kentucky. However, although they did their best to fight the decision, it seems that they have decided that the best resolution for their company is to take their operations out of this state.

In addition to blocking players from the state of Kentucky, Microgaming has also instituted a block in the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin, and Utah (the District of Columbia is also included in the Microgaming block). According to representatives of Microgaming, this decision was a result of US laws that are on the books but not being enforced (yet).

So, what does this decision by Microgaming mean for the online poker industry as a whole? Well, the biggest impact of this decision is the fact that Microgaming is the largest online poker website to make the decision to comply with what Kentucky wants. Although there are several smaller poker websites that have changed their polices to meet the expectations of Kentucky, Microgaming is the first major company to give in to the demands of the State of Kentucky.

Although there is no way to predict what the future holds for online gambling in the United States, given the impact of these recent events, it is safe to say that things are not moving in a good direction for online poker companies and players.