UK poker player, Richard Richardson, is not going to sit back and allow his auto-rebuy functionality to be taken away without a fight, after creating a petition demanding that the proposed rule changes be struck from the legislation.
Crying babies, meowing cats, and the inability to auto-top up when multi-tabling cash games; give me the axe.
Let’s get this over and done with.
Back in the day, I was told that PKR had the softest cash games in the poker community. They were right but I didn’t stick around because they didn’t have an auto-top up feature in the cash games. It was more annoying than a dodgy Internet connection.
So when PokerStars announced that UK players would soon see their auto-top up and auto rebuy function vanish in line with the UK Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 – due to come in line Oct 1st – I knew that the poker community would be pissed.
Thankfully one man is trying to do something about it.
Richard Richardson, a player advocate who contributed to the UK Gambling Commission’s consultations, which led to the new regulations, has created a draft petition that he intends to send to Jenny Williams, Commissioner and Chief Executive, UK Gambling Commission, to argue for the new law to be repealed.
The part of the legislation that is bothersome is Remote Technical Standard 14A.
RTS aim 14
To ensure that products are designed responsibly and to minimize the likelihood that they exploit or encourage problem gambling behavior.
RTS requirement 14A
Gambling products must not actively encourage customers to chase their losses, increase their stake or increase the amount they have decided to gamble, or continue to gamble after they have indicated that they wish to stop.
RTS implementation guidance 14A
a. By actively encourage, we mean the inclusion of specific features, functions or information that could reasonably be expected to encourage a greater likelihood of the behaviors described occurring. For example:
i. the amount of funds taken into a product should not be topped up without the customer choosing to do so on each occasion, e.g. when a customer buys-in at a poker table they should have to choose to purchase more chips to play at the table – automatic re-buys should not be provided
ii. written or graphical information should not encourage customers to try to win back their losses
iii. customers who have chosen to exit a game should not be encouraged to continue playing by, for example, being offered a free game.
b. This requirement is not intended to prevent operators from offering special features or well-known games such as blackjack that allow customers to increase their stake on the occurrence of specific events (e.g. split).
Richardson argues that whilst he supports the underlying ideology behind the rule changes, they don’t really apply to the game of poker. Furthermore, he argues that UK players will be at a significant disadvantage when playing in an international player pool where the rules are not the same across the board.
It seems pretty clear that the rules are not created with the ‘professional’ poker player in mind. Reading Richardson’s letter, and seeing words like ‘bullets,’ and talking of players loading up 20 tables at a time, makes me worry that the petition will fall upon deaf ears. It seems a folly argument, to the uneducated, that we need an auto top up feature to play 20+ tables, when the law is designed to prevent problem gambling behavior.
It reminds me of my mother telling me I had a gambling problem when she saw me playing two tables
That’s why it’s important that the petition is packed full of powerful poker stuff. Everyone who wants the changes stopped should head over to 2+2, check out the draft petition, and have your say.
Help before it’s too late, because once this new law comes in, poker players will be committing hara-kiri up and down the country.