Job losses in the poker biz

by Lou on December 5, 2006

Layoffs in the poker industry
Writing for the online version of Poker Player Newspaper, Pauly McGuire states that Card Player Magazine and the World Poker Tour recently fired a number of employees, in a “a trend that’s been too common in the poker industry over the last few weeks.”

McGuire goes on to say that this is a frequent occurrence lately, and that he’s lost writing outlets because clients of his no longer had the revenue to pay him. He’s not the only one. It’s affected me too, and just about everyone I know in the poker business, and this includes not only writers, but players with sponsorship deals, affiliates, and anything else that was driven by advertising revenue from US-facing online sites.

UIGEA: job killer at home, stock killer abroad
The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) has turned out to be a job killer in the USA, and its effect in the UK was just as bad. It wiped out sixty percent of the value of publicly traded online stocks such as Party Poker and in so doing, it put a big dent in the wallets of many investors.

Jobs did not disappear there, however, and a quick perusal of the listings by search firms in e-Gaming Review magazine shows a lot of online gaming jobs in the UK and Europe. I’m even expecting that job market to grow as online gaming gains more of a foothold in China and Macau.

A few bright spots
The only bright spot on this side of the Atlantic seems to be Poker Player Newspaper, where McGuire reports that publishers Stan Sludikoff has added several writers in the last few weeks and expanded the size of the paper.

Of course, UIGEA created some unintended job losses too. Representative Jim Leach (R-IA) is currently a lame duck, having been turned out of office in a close election, with the decisive votes thought to be cast by poker players in his district who were upset about his stance against online gaming.

Senator Bill Frist, who as Senate majority leader rammed the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act through the Senate by attaching it to a piece of must-pass legislation, the Safe Ports Act, in the dead of night with no recorded vote or debate on the issue and did so to pander to the religious right in an attempt to garner the Republican nomination for the presidency, is now out of business too.

Just this week he said that he will not seek the nomination, though I think this is more a result of a number of insider-trading investigations that would render him very vulnerable if he did make a run for the presidency.

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