Yesterday brought bad news for online poker players. Firepay, which after Neteller is the second most popular foreign banking intermediary, announced that they will voluntarily comply with the new legislation once it is signed by President Bush. In other words, online poker players who currently use Firepay will need to look for another way to fund their poker accounts.
This leaves Neteller as a crucial entity in the future of online poker. If they stay the course (as they announced they would on October 1st), I’m still convinced that things will remain relatively unchanged. If they follow Firepay’s lead, it will be a crushing blow as thousands of poker players, including myself, will no longer be able to move money into or out of their poker accounts.
Should Neteller cave, I’m sure some small daring international companies will fill the void, but will these companies be trustworthy? And more importantly, will it simply kill all the action before these companies can pick up the slack?