The depredations of the US Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and more recent related actions by US Attorney officials trying to shut down offshore Internet poker and casino action have, incredibly as it may seem, gone largely unnoticed by American poker players despite the wide news coverage.
A recent study of players by the online gambling group Betfair showed that the recent payout freezes executed by the New York US Attorney's office (see previous InfoPowa reports) were known by only some 35 percent of those surveyed. Researchers found that only 42 percent of US players and 31 percent of British players were aware of the activities of the New York US Attorney's office which resulted in the recent seizure of player funds in US e-cash processor bank accounts.
Some 88 percent of those who were aware of the ‘asset freezes' admitted they were worried that their online bankrolls might be similarly prejudiced, and 76 percent of this segment had consequently moved to other poker sites.
Betfair based its findings on a survey sample of a thousand poker players approached early in July 2009.
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Respondents questioned about the impact of the international economic recession on their playing behaviour confirmed that this had had a dampening effect. 52 percent of US players and 48 percent of British respondents said that the amount of online poker they had played in 2009 was lower than that in 2008.
Commenting on the survey, Betfair's poker executive Richard Bloch said: “This research demonstrates that there are other factors which consumers are taking into account when it comes to choosing their preferred place to play poker online. It’s no use having funds in your account if a government is going to seize them – and consumers are obviously aware of that.”
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