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Online Poker Solutions, Brought to You By the People Who Found the AARP

Missing a day from work has put me into a mental blender. So what better to do than post?

I was reading posts from Grubby and PokerWolf today. Let me first say that Wolfie has been kicking some serious blogging arse lately, and while I'm not surprised, I am delighted. I roomed with Wolf during the Bash at the Boathouse this year, and I barely knew the guy. Yet we got along really well and I could tell almost instantly that he is good people. So, nice job, Wolf. Keep it up.

Anyway, both of the posts touched on different ways to get money into (Grubby) and out of (Wolf) online poker and ways that the industry can change to make it all work. Wolf's post really makes a great point about how the online poker world might go. He suggests that B&M casinos in the US had been working on systems to allow players to play online and use their "winnings" for free vacations to the B&M casinos (or perhaps other things as well). Players could also withdraw their "winnings" at the B&M casinos as well. Check out his post, since I am just mangling it here, and he provides much better insight.

Grubby, meanwhile, continuted his quest to find a way to deposit and found a very convenient pre-paid gift card that works well on most sites. He also mentioned that it would be great if one of the major sites would offer withdrawals in the form of pre-paid gift cards.

Now, it's my turn. In Florida, there are Penny Arcades, which essentially are like psuedo-casinos. Mind you, there are some issues regarding their legality, but largely, the casinos, um, I mean arcades, have remained open. The arcades offer slot machines and such for pennies to play (ostensibly, but really, some machines allow you to play up to $2 per spin). Players buy prepaid cards to use at the machines and then can use the points on their cards to buy all sorts of gift certificates (and probably other items as well). For instance, my grandmother, she who taught me all I know about gambling, just sent wifey Kim and I $35 worth of Outback giftcards that she won at the arcade. They also have cards for grocery stores, Walmart/Kmart/Target, and a variety of other places. Effectively, they are not paying out money, per se, but they are paying out something almost as useful. Sure, you are locked in to spending your winnings at the store of choice, but you get to choose the store.

How could this work for online poker? Well, I don't see why a site such as Full Tilt couldn't offer payouts via gift cards to Amazon, BestBuy and other stores, akin to what companies like PokerSourceOnline does. I am sure that this will change some of the psychology of poker. People would be playing to earn enough gift cards for things such as big TVs at BestBuy or poker books (or non-poker books) at Amazon. That said, at least there would be some benefit to playing could actually USE the money you win, as opposed to, well, letting it sit online and dreaming about the day that online poker becomes legal in the US and the government unfreezes Neteller funds. This could even allow US players to play at sites like Party against non-US players (who can still withdraw cash), by only allowing US players to withdraw via gift cards. It would go around US banking institutions, since the cards would be purchased by the sites directly and mailed or emailed (instantaneously!) to you.

So, what's the problem? Get to it, Full Tilt.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:26 AM,


At 12:03 PM, Blogger Pokerwolf said...

Thanks for the kudos, bro!

A way for Party/Full Tilt/etc. to get around the "I want money" problem is to allow U.S. players to buy Visa/MC/Amex debit cards with various levels of money on them. Tada! Money to spend wherever anyone wants!

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Playing for gift cards just wouldn't feel the same. Money makes the world go around. Now if there was a secondary market for gift cards and it was easy to exchange money for them then ya - why not.

At 12:31 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

True, Chipper, but playing for gift cards is infinitely better than playing for money that cannot be withdrawn.

At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only an Epassporte account is needed to freely deposit and withdraw online.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Let's not get into this again, DP. I'm talking about alternatives that don't violate the law and don't run the risk of another Neteller fiasco.

At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

new reader! i love your AC trip posts, i went back and read all of them in the archives. I'm curious about salami, does one need to be a member to play? thanks.


At 5:44 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

You don't need to be a member. I think it is one of the rare rooms that has that rule. The only problem is that they might be wary of new people. Thanks for reading, fido.


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