Why Should Poker Players Oppose TikTok Bill?

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All poker players need to go through the details of the new TikTok Bill introduced by the US government to prevent Americans from doing any business dealing with adversary nations like Cuba, China, and Russia.

Being an online poker enthusiast, I want to alert all my friends about the new bill that can curtail our freedom to play online poker, use VPN, maintain our privacy, and save our money.

What Is TikTok Bill?

Primarily aimed at TikTok, the bill stealthily attacks all offshore sites being run from countries termed adversaries of America. Also, the bill prohibits US businesses from providing services in adversary countries. I don’t have TikTok on my mobile but I do have some good poker apps. Now I am worried about those apps as I believe that many of them are operated from one of the adversary countries.

What Will Happen To Poker Players?

Until now you were free to download and play with any poker app without worrying about its origin or ownership. But from now, you need to first check the origin of a poker app to make sure that you don’t break the law. Many American and offshore gambling sites run poker games. After the bill, you will have to play only with American poker sites. Also, American sites have to be careful not to do any business with people from adversary countries.

How Will Poker Sites Function After The Bill?

American poker sites will decline traffic coming from China, Russia, Cuba, and other countries listed as adversaries in the bill. In this situation, American businessmen will face a loss of revenue. They will have to rely only on traffic coming from America and friendly countries. Sites found to be dealing with adversary countries will have to pay hefty fines as done in the past.

Full Tilt Poker, an Irish site working since 2004, was sued by the Department of Justice in late 2008. The DoJ seized billions of dollars from the site but set its owners free. The site kept working and making money for the government because the DoJ kept stripping the site of its profit until it became bankrupt and shut down.

Offshore poker apps over which the government has little control can work in America but in a grey area. The DoJ can take action on those sites. Offshore Blackjack sites will prevent Americans from entering their platforms to avoid government action. But they can advantage of this act differently. They can make big profits by shutting down their services in America.

What Is The Biggest Concern With Offshore Sites?

Many offshore poker sites shut businesses only when they become bankrupt or it will more appropriate to say that they shut businesses only to become rich. Whenever a poker app is declared bankrupt, its owners are allowed to go away with whatever money is left with them. TikTok Bill gives such sites a reason to decamp with money of American players. They can shut their shops as soon as they feel the heat or come under the scanner of DoJ.

Why Americans Won’t Be Able To Use VPN After This Bill?

VPN or virtual private networks provide the opportunity to connect to any site in the world without disclosing your identity. American sites won’t allow VPN traffic fearing it could be from adversary countries. Similarly, Americans won’t be allowed to use VPN to play online poker on offshore apps.

VPN stands for privacy. With the VPN service down, there will be no privacy in gambling. In other words, the government wants to dictate who to play with. In my opinion, it is my freedom to choose poker players. Or the government should clarify who to play with so I and others can play safe.

Is This Bill Safe For Poker Players?

Critics of the bill argue that it gives enormous powers in the hands of DoJ. Government officials can get the authority to snoop into ForEx exchanges and Cryptocurrency transactions to keep a tab on Americans doing business with adversary countries. If they suspect you might be benefitting unacceptable counties, they can track your online transactions and make you suffer even when you didn’t break any law.

I can recall an instance where a casino player was harassed by officials. They recovered a large quantity of cash from the player making him almost bankrupt. Finally, he got back all his money after a long legal battle and crossing endless legal hurdles. Also, I can find many similar instances.

Who Is The Deciding Authority In This Bill?

First, I must be clear that is no judge involved in the bill. The authority to decide when the law is broken solely lies with the Secretary of Commerce. Do you think that an official could have the required knowledge about technology or finance needed to take big decisions?

The case of Wilbur Ross who retired as Secretary of Commerce in 2021 is enough to understand that justice will be denied to poker sites and players. Known as the “King Of Bankruptcy”, Ross was 83 years old when he quit office. If such a person sits in the office of Secretary of Commerce, they can make anyone suffer with the huge powers in their hands.

Does The Government Want To Make Money?

From the above instances, it is clear the objective of the government is only to make quick money. They will target apps and players on the pretext of dealing with adversary countries and making huge money for government programs. This is what they have done in the past and this is what they will do after the bill is passed.

What Should You Do?

I urge everyone to talk to their representatives and the loopholes in the bill and convince the representatives to oppose the bill. If it isn’t stopped at this level, it can affect online poker. Your representative could become your voice and raise your concerns before the authorities before it is too late to oppose the bill.     

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