Online poker players have been able to make a significant amount of money. Thousands of people have played professionally and made a full-time income from online poker.

A new decision by the United States Justice Department has created a major roadblock for them. Tens of thousands of professional players will now have to give up their primary or only source of income.

Impact of the Justice Decision
What impact will the Justice Department’s decision have on professional poker players? Unwilling to sacrifice their livelihood, many have actually moved up to Canada. Clearly, outlawing online gambling has had major repercussions. The Justice Department may not have fully grasped the impact their rulings may have.

The purpose of the Justice Department’s ruling has been called into question. They have stated that they are fighting money laundering, but they have focused primarily on the fact that online gambling violates the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Are they only interested in shutting down online poker sites because they aren’t profiting from them? The Justice Department is seeking a $3 billion fine after shutting down the casinos.

Regardless of the rationale behind the Justice Department’s decision, it is clearly causing a whirlwind of problems they didn’t consider. Is it wise to deprive 50,000 people of their primary income? Does the federal government really want to risk driving professional poker players out of the country over this?

There are plenty of arguments on both sides. The concerns over money laundering are obviously warranted. The players who are suddenly losing everything they had aren’t as supportive of that point of view.

Can Players Adjust to Offline Poker
Players still have the option to play poker offline. Unfortunately, the opportunities with offline poker don’t seem to be quite as lucrative for a number of reasons:

1. Players aren’t used to the system. Online poker players know the system quite well. Playing in a casino requires a different set of skills. They may not be prepared to make the change.

2. They spend more time traveling than playing. When players commute to casinos, they have to factor in all the time they spend driving. They also need to pay for room and board while they are at the casino. This eats up time they could be playing and they have to win a number of hands just to break even with the travel costs.

3. Traveling to a casino may not be feasible. Many poker players live in remote areas where it is not possible to travel to a casino. When traveling is not an option, they may have no choice but to give up their poker careers.

What Will Players Do?
The Justice Department has sadly created a major problem for online poker players. Many of them are left without options. Many have tried leaving for Canada as a last resort, but can’t even get in because of their chosen occupation. Many players are becoming unemployed and looking to find a way to make a living. They hope the laws will change soon, but until then they are struggling to adjust to the new laws.

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