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Author Topic: StrikeSapphire: considering opening BTC Poker to US players. So what if we did?  (Read 1758 times)
ssaCEO
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December 09, 2012, 06:22:55 PM
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I'll be honest. Despite the fact that we've run $0.50 freerolls every hour, $100 freerolls every weekend, and give away far more than any other Bitcoin poker site... only a few people collect most of our giveaways, and we're suffering for lack of an audience. And that's because I made the decision a long time ago that the US had to be off-limits because we were both a poker and a gambling site, and fundamentally Bitcoin is still something of value that can be wagered and lost - which makes it illegal to bet with in the 50 states.

But the latest decision from the court in upstate NY, along with the fact that Bitcoin poker clearly doesn't violate UIGEA, the Wire Act or other US anti-gambling laws, has made me reconsider the issue and conclude that to open poker -- just poker, not roulette, blackjack, slots or other games -- to the American public, might not actually be illegal.

So we've worked out a way that Americans can visit our site and only play poker, while still being barred from joining any games that rely predominantly on chance, or where there's risk and a house edge is involved. What I'd like to hear is your opinion of this. How much do you want to be able to play at StrikeSapphire, and how often are you willing to play ring games on our site?  Our software is far better than anything else available in the Bitcoin poker world; but is the Bitcoin poker world enough to make it worth going to bat for?

Your response will help determine what legal lines we're willing to draw and what risks we're willing to take with our belief that this is now, essentially, legal. Let us know, in detail if possible, what level your commitment would be to helping us become the #1 Bitcoin poker room if we decided to make the leap and open to US players.

StrikeSapphire.com is the longest continually-functioning Bitcoin casino, with 25 games including Hold'em, Omaha, 7 Card Stud, 4 slots, video poker, multiplayer roulette, craps, blackjack, 3 card poker, rummy and a variety of other offerings. We've been in the business since opening on 19 July, 2011.

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ChipGeek
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December 09, 2012, 06:56:18 PM
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Do you have a totally free (non-dollar and non-bitcoin) version of your site where we could test out your poker games before committing bitcion to it?

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December 09, 2012, 06:58:17 PM
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No. But we do have playcash tables.

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December 09, 2012, 10:15:45 PM
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It's not discrimination; it's self defense. America's the only country in the world with not just the laws but the resources to make it our problem if someone gambles illegally - not the player's.

As far as building up a game, we have no problem w/ paying props and we've actually set up our own easy-to-beat bots at various times to help kick things off. But the non-US audience for Bitcoin poker is pretty thin at this point, and if you aren't taking american players it's pretty hard to get that snowball effect you're talking about.

Having said that, the non-response to this thread is certainly a clarion call for me not to take any risk along these lines.

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December 09, 2012, 10:39:52 PM
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You should try to open bitcoin-only-tables to US players (with US ip)
US players will not have any other way to deposit.

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December 09, 2012, 10:41:17 PM
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we are bitcoin-only. We convert BTC to chips which are rendered as USD for convenience and holding, but Bitcoin is the only way to move funds in or out of our site.

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December 10, 2012, 12:06:21 AM
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okay, I think this is enough information. We won't do it. Thread closed.

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