The British are coming, the British are coming!
"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles CEO, sportsnetwork.com
Hatboro, PA (Sports Network) --
Whoops! It is not the "one if by land,
two if by sea" signal at Old North Church (officially, Christ Church in the City
of Boston), the location from which the famous signal is said to have been
sent. This phrase is related, of course, to Paul Revere's midnight ride of
April 18, 1775, which preceded the battles of Lexington and Concord during the
American Revolution. Now, some 235 years later, a similar signal has been
sent to the Department of Justice to herald the arrival of such interlopers as
William Hill, one of the more well-known bookmakers out of England.
But, the target has changed. It is now the American gaming market, its
audience and, in particular, purveyors of wagering in every form, highlighted
by sports books that dot the landscape of Nevada, legally. There is a sense
among them that prior laws preventing this will be repealed, sooner than later,
and the adage about position in life being critical to one's being and success
at opportune moments never had more credibility. Consequently, there would
soon be a war, dollars and audience driven, between two seeming political
parties ... the incumbents who did not trade in the stars and stripes for the
Union Jack and those invaders who would seek to invade and dislodge the
Located in England, William Hill is one of the largest bookmakers in the world.
They are coming for the money!
That meant it was time to launch a shot across their bow with an accompanying
message that clearly stated, "Do not come to our shores, do not invade that
which is ours and see what happens to those that do." What, pray tell, what we
have seen so far?
Call in the Department of Justice and the FBI. Arm them with fairly diaphanous
weaponry and, like an auto accident, plan on suing, challenging, arresting
everyone in sight, right or wrong. In this instance, mostly wrong. And, by the
way, FBI means we can seize bank accounts, domain names and whatever the heck
we want to. So, just recently, on April 15, the DoJ seized the .com names of
five of the biggest poker sites out there, the same folks who have been
blissfully ignored for so long.
But this was not a car accident and shooting ... cameras, guns, legal
technicalities, frozen bank accounts, seized domain names, etc. ... everything
and everyone within reach made absolutely no sense. Like Prohibition in the
United States (also sometimes referred to as the Noble Experiment), a national
ban on the sale, manufacture and transportation of alcohol, in place from
1920 to 1933, interfering with that which the public wants to do, will always
do, and can skirt bans in more ways than bootleggers from Canada provided back
then, gambling - poker or otherwise - will not go away, with or without the
The DoJ recently seized the domain names of the some of the world's biggest poker sites.
The answer is unbelievably simple ... embrace and advantage it. Let them come,
let them play, collect the taxes from the licensed and favored. It will add
faster than the government can imagine.
The customers will get their money back from the "frozen assets," and they
will find ways, as has already been the case, to continue to play on sites
located everywhere and anywhere. Isn't the Internet wonderful, he says with
a wry smile. The states will eventually legalize intra-state poker, Internet
gambling will, as William Hill and others like them believe to be the case, be
regulated and taxed and Nevada is the prime location where one should set up
shop. Once in place, patience becomes the virtue of the hour and beyond. All
the others that are not entertaining partnerships with folks like William Hill
are steeling themselves for battle, alongside (believe it or not) the DoJ for
all the obvious reasons.
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend," a quote long attributed to the Arabs,
makes perfect sense here ... for all those who are not going to the docks and
airports to welcome the British back. Caesars and Steve Wynn are no longer
certain of their partnerships with 888 and PokerStars. And, the UIGEA is
still doing more than hovering; it has a full cache of bombs ready to be
This has become a maze of intrigues, political posturing ... as in Atlantic
City ... and governmental reactions to backroom deal-making and protectionism,
It took about 13 years for Prohibition to be repealed compared to the world we
inhabit today, where your watch has more computer capability that they ever
dreamed of back in the day; where a computer chip has more content that the
whole of the New York Times during that era; where we communicate and act on
something, anything at all, in the blink of an eye and then, like David
Copperfield - poof! - we are gone. That is your bookmaker, casino, sports
book, punter, player and even the government. Big Brother is no longer just
watching, he is there with your every move ... and should be your partner
if you are William Hill.
Earlier this month, the US DoJ seized the domain names of several gaming sites, including PokerStars.
That scenario is inevitable. It is just a matter of determining when.
Meanwhile, all in!
Is there really any way, no matter how long it takes, to stop the inescapable,
that which is bound to happen and is, pun intended, in the cards?
You gotta be kidding!