Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Farce Of The UIGEA

Swaggart has been caught with his trousers round his knees
After damning me and you to hell for eternity
Sex and power and money is the prayer of these priests
They bribe their way past heaven's gates and steal a set of keys
               - James, God Only Knows

For reasons soon to become clear, I've been rejigging my poker finances.

Until now, my bankroll has resided solely in Neteller, and been swapped between sites as necessary. With a US dollar Neteller account, and playing on sites where the games are US dollar based, I've built my bankroll up as a separate entity from the remainder of my finances.

Thus I've avoided any sort of foreign exchange conversion losses, which can be an additional layer of rake for UK or European players who routinely swap between dollars and their home currency.

Good for bankroll management, good for discipline, but not much use if I want to utilise the money for any other purposes.

So, with an impending need to temporarily withdraw a chunk of the cash, I was looking for options.

After some Googling, a Citibank US Dollar Current Account seemed just the ticket.

I could send some of my Neteller cash to this account, and have fee free access to it by US Dollar cheque and debit card. Excellent!

Being naturally cautious in financial matters, I thought it best to drop Neteller an email to make sure this would be OK. Their response in full...

"Thank you for you E-mail. We continue to encounter difficulties if processing funds in US dollars, we would strongly advise not to use a Citibank US dollar bank account to deposit or withdraw as there is a high possibility we may encounter difficulties in processing the funds appropriately."

So lets clarify this situation...

- I'm a UK citizen
- with money held by a company based in Europe and quoted on the UK stock exchange
- mostly playing poker on the UK skins of networks who don't accept US players
- wishing to transfer my winnings to the UK branch of a US institution (new business)
- so that I can spend some of the money on a trip to the US (more business for the US)

Yet it seems the UIGEA prevents me doing so.

Or does it? Well, it seems not.

One of the sites I play on allows fee free withdrawals direct to a nominated bank account, and they reckon it's doable.

If it's that easy for me, how difficult is it going to be for any of these mythical drug dealers and terrorists who are allegedly laundering their cash via the online poker world?

All of which makes me wonder what the point of this whole debacle is, other than to enable a few self serving, duplicitous, snakes-in-the-grass, to slither a little closer to the summit of Capitol Hill.


TenMile said...

You might read Peter Brinks entry about US$/Neteller.

Div said...

Yeah I'd already left a comment on his site. One of the best blogs around.