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Author Topic: Pokerstars missing on a great opportunity  (Read 1958 times)
99Percent
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July 23, 2011, 12:12:45 AM
 #1

Pokerstars is missing on a great opportunity to use bitcoins as a stakes medium.

1. Since it isn't technically cash or any "valid" currency per US standards US players could play with BTC without any legal consequences whatsoever.

2. They can incorporate a micro mining component to their pokerstars client which can give players some microbitcoins and a chance to start playing with minimal stakes sort of like giving away play money. Alternately they could produce the bitcoins themselves and give them away in micro quantities to their new players much like they already do with their own play money (which has actual cash value too about 1 million PS playmoney per $5 USD).

3. they can offer introductory games and tournaments with extremely low stakes given bitcoins divisibility nature. They can easily hold the customers bitcoins in their super secure servers and super easily accept and payout bitcoins.

I am just wondering wtf are they waiting for? Are they planning on making their own virtual currency just for pokerstars? That would be dumb IMO.
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July 23, 2011, 12:13:30 AM
 #2

Pokerstarscoin?
jackjack
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July 23, 2011, 12:17:04 AM
 #3

They just can't
Every fucking government would ban Pokerstars forever (maybe not Iceland though)

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July 23, 2011, 12:20:54 AM
 #4

If major poker sites will start accepting bitcoins it's not a problem, if they allow US players gamble through BTC it may bring potential heat on to them, like what happened few month back with couple of sites.
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July 23, 2011, 12:32:29 AM
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Have you tried asking them about bitcoin? They have pretty good support (support@pokerstars.com).

I really doubt they will be touching the US market any time soon.
99Percent
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July 23, 2011, 12:54:22 AM
 #6

The reason PS got in trouble with the US was because they were accepting cash from US players via doubtful means. With BTC there would be NO WAY the US government could prosecute them.

They could make a totally different client and website (pokerstarbtc.com?) and start from there.
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July 23, 2011, 12:58:14 AM
 #7

If I had the means I would release a Poker client with pure BTC stakes but there are two major problems with poker online: bots and collusion. I just wouldn't have the ability to deal with them. But Pokerstars has plenty of experience. They have invested heavily in detecting pokerbots and collusion.
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July 23, 2011, 01:03:08 AM
 #8

The reason PS got in trouble with the US was because they were accepting cash from US players via doubtful means. With BTC there would be NO WAY the US government could prosecute them.

They could make a totally different client and website (pokerstarbtc.com?) and start from there.


Are you arguing that bitcoin games would be legal in the US because it's not a recognized currency, or just that it wouldn't be technically feasible for the feds to shut it down because there would be no financial intermediaries to hijack?

Bitcoin is the first monetary system to credibly offer perfect information to all economic participants.
But Bitcointalk & /r/bitcoin are heavily censored. bitco.in/forum, forum.bitcoin.com, and /r/btc are open.
Best info on Casascius coins: http://spotcoins.com/casascius
BTCSports
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July 23, 2011, 01:12:12 AM
 #9

I would argue that it is no different than Zynga Poker.  See http://btcsportsbetting.com/is-it-legal

Melbustus
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July 23, 2011, 01:18:54 AM
 #10

What's the criteria for being considered a "real" currency in the eyes of the US Gov? Is there an actual list of recognized currencies somewhere?

Bitcoin is the first monetary system to credibly offer perfect information to all economic participants.
But Bitcointalk & /r/bitcoin are heavily censored. bitco.in/forum, forum.bitcoin.com, and /r/btc are open.
Best info on Casascius coins: http://spotcoins.com/casascius
hugolp
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July 23, 2011, 05:47:29 AM
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What's the criteria for being considered a "real" currency in the eyes of the US Gov? Is there an actual list of recognized currencies somewhere?

Yes:

-US Dollar.

End of list.

Btw, if players connect via VPN or something similar to a Bitcoin poker site it would be impossible for the USA government to detect them. And they could pay the VPN with bitcoins as well. The problem would be for the poker site then. It would be very difficult to filter users to avoid bots and specially collusion.
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July 23, 2011, 07:06:27 AM
 #12

What's the criteria for being considered a "real" currency in the eyes of the US Gov? Is there an actual list of recognized currencies somewhere?

Yes:

-US Dollar.

End of list.

Btw, if players connect via VPN or something similar to a Bitcoin poker site it would be impossible for the USA government to detect them. And they could pay the VPN with bitcoins as well. The problem would be for the poker site then. It would be very difficult to filter users to avoid bots and specially collusion.


Not sure I follow. If only the dollar is considered currency in the US, as a US citizen, couldn't I play legally on a Euro-denominated site? Obviously I can't...so what's the criteria determining what it's legal and illegal to bet with?

Bitcoin is the first monetary system to credibly offer perfect information to all economic participants.
But Bitcointalk & /r/bitcoin are heavily censored. bitco.in/forum, forum.bitcoin.com, and /r/btc are open.
Best info on Casascius coins: http://spotcoins.com/casascius
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July 23, 2011, 07:11:13 AM
 #13

If you want Bitcoin to become a success you have to do some work for it!

I send e-mails to different sites with the question if they accept Bitcoins as payment.
The more people do that, the more online shops and services might consider them...
hugolp
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July 23, 2011, 07:24:11 AM
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Not sure I follow. If only the dollar is considered currency in the US, as a US citizen, couldn't I play legally on a Euro-denominated site? Obviously I can't...so what's the criteria determining what it's legal and illegal to bet with?

There is nothing ilegal with barter, and you have to pay taxes (in dollars) for it, but the smaller barter transactions are not required to pay taxes.

Now, Im no lawyer and Im not sure about the next sentence, but I believe that the USA government would tax you on any capital gain you make playing poker in euros once you convert them back to dollars. F.e.: You use $10,000 dollars to buy euros, send them to a online poker website, play poker, win more euros and convert all your euros back to dollars for a total of $15,000. In this case you would have to pay taxes on the $5,000. And I repeat that the law might be more complicated in the USA, Im not 100% sure about it.
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July 23, 2011, 07:32:04 AM
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Not sure I follow. If only the dollar is considered currency in the US, as a US citizen, couldn't I play legally on a Euro-denominated site? Obviously I can't...so what's the criteria determining what it's legal and illegal to bet with?

There is nothing ilegal with barter, and you have to pay taxes (in dollars) for it, but the smaller barter transactions are not required to pay taxes.

Now, Im no lawyer and Im not sure about the next sentence, but I believe that the USA government would tax you on any capital gain you make playing poker in euros once you convert them back to dollars. F.e.: You use $10,000 dollars to buy euros, send them to a online poker website, play poker, win more euros and convert all your euros back to dollars for a total of $15,000. In this case you would have to pay taxes on the $5,000. And I repeat that the law might be more complicated in the USA, Im not 100% sure about it.


Sure, that's all fine. The issue is not taxation or tax-evasion. My question is basically: how does the gov draw the line of what's considered play-money and what's considered real-money? This is clearly relevant since gambling with real-money in the US is only legal in select physical jurisdictions, yet playing poker on Zynga, as noted above, is perfectly legal despite the fact that there is effectively an exchange rate between USD and Zynga chips... But, if a poker site denominated in Euros allowed US players, it would pretty quickly get some Department of Justice attention. So where's the distinction?

Bitcoin is the first monetary system to credibly offer perfect information to all economic participants.
But Bitcointalk & /r/bitcoin are heavily censored. bitco.in/forum, forum.bitcoin.com, and /r/btc are open.
Best info on Casascius coins: http://spotcoins.com/casascius
wumpus
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July 23, 2011, 07:33:55 AM
 #16

If I had the means I would release a Poker client with pure BTC stakes but there are two major problems with poker online: bots and collusion. I just wouldn't have the ability to deal with them. But Pokerstars has plenty of experience. They have invested heavily in detecting pokerbots and collusion.
I've got some experience with bots and (timing) statistics, let me know if you need help Smiley

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July 23, 2011, 07:52:58 AM
 #17

Pokerstars are not missing out on anything.

Ask yourself why the major poker rooms are not flocking to bitcoin. Therein lies the answer.
MemoryDealers
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July 23, 2011, 01:54:26 PM
 #18

I sent an email to Pokerstars politely asking them to consider accepting bitcoins.
They quickly replied with a nice form letter stating that they would consider it,  and thanked me for my input.

I think it would be helpful if more people emailed them with the same request.

SmokeAndMirrors
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July 23, 2011, 02:03:27 PM
 #19

Bitcoin is not a currency and there's no way for people to tell whether or not your bitcoins were bought with cash or mined (at least, there's no way the governments would be able to monitor everyone). If the coins are not directly traded for fiat currencies, then it is technically not illegal to bet them. The governments can't do shit to ban playing for bitcoins based on the simple fact that we mine them and as far as they know, no USD -> bitcoin transactions have ever occurred in regards to the bitcoins being bet on gambling sites.

Help Bitcoins by buying clothes, technology, books, etc. through people/stores that accept BTC. This will increase overall value of BTC as well as mitigate unnecessary bank transaction fees.

My address -
1EM9HGg1SEa5Bux1rVEPxGqGSfNTTc9EkC
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July 23, 2011, 02:47:51 PM
 #20

on Zynga you don't play for money, you can't trade effectively zynga chips with other users or sell them - they have tight control and limits on that. you can buy more chips but that's about it, there is no real gambling with real money involved - you never cash out there.  Zynga did everything to stay away from actual gambling side of it and did it cleverly until online gambling laws will be revisited in the US in the future.

If a serious poker site will try to get around US laws accepting US players where real money involved and can be effectively gambled with even if trade goes though some purchased kiddie toys, virtual commodities, etc., it will be brought down and may as well pull down exchanges helping to facilitate such trades. Not a chance an established poker site even to consider it in regard to the US citizens.
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