But what does this mean to me? As a small-time online poker player and budding poker writer, what does this mean to me in terms of income and infringement on my personal freedoms? All of these are guesses, and none of them are particularly happy guesses, but this is what I expect, at least in the short term.
- Ad revenue – As I discussed with several folks a couple weeks ago at the Bash, I’ve always found it a little silly that people are willing to give me money to advertise on this little space, but I likes the mobney, so I takes it. I don’t expect any new advertisers, and I don’t expect the ones that I have to continue past October, November at the latest. This is far from a blow that will send me to the poorhouse, but it is the loss of a couple hundred bucks a month that I have enjoyed. I will have to get someone with a real clue to evaluate whether or not having the links to gaming sites on my blog constitutes aiding and abetting, as Scurvy seems to think it may. If I get legal advice that tells me to take down ads, I’ll have to decide if I do it or not. My initial inclination is to say “not,” but I don’t think the PPA is in a position yet to handle my legal bills if some overzealous NC prosecutor decides that I’d make a good target. So we’ll see, but I think in a best-case scenario my ad revenue is gone by the end of the year.
- Writing revenue - I write for Pokerworks.com, which is owned and operated out of Europe. Pokerworks makes most of their cash off of affiliate signups, which I see drying up in a big way as a result of this legislation. So I think long-term, sites like the one that provides me with a nice little side income are also going to take a hit. I think Pokerworks is probably in the clear as far as legality, since it is based outside the US, and I see nothing in the bill that makes it illegal for me write for them, but I wouldn’t be surprised if their revenue stream dried up a bit and either made it harder for me to sell articles or reduced the pay for articles due to withering revenues. And I don’t even work for a poker magazine. Those guys are likely screwed in eighteen different ways.
- Bonus revenue – Bonus whoring accounts for a couple hundred bucks a month of my poker revenue, allowing me to support my losing ways at online poker without actually having to redeposit. Pretty much a zero-sum effort, but enjoyable.
I think all in all I’m looking at revenue losses in the $500-600 per month range, on average. I’m not looking at the money I win or lose actually playing poker online, just in the ancillary revenue that I receive through this blog and the online poker world. So my fiscally conservative, small government-oriented party just cost me, a middle-class working American, $6-7,000 in legitimate annual income. Nice. Oh yeah, and created the potential for a loose interpretation of this law to throw me in jail for writing. Now that’s Orwellian.
I sincerely hope that I’m exaggerating and overestimating the impact of this law. I would love to be proven wrong. But I have no faith in my government not to do everything in their power to fuck me any way they can and in every possible orifice.