A new law which was passed by the U.S. Congress Sept. 29 as an additional language to a port security bill would make it illegal for U.S. Banks to process payments to or from online gambling sites, including online poker sites.
PartyGaming, the world's largest poker site, suspended its American operations the morning of Oct. 2, followed by the ceasing of operations of other gambling sites.
PartyGaming said in a statement released that morning that the new legislation "will make it practically impossible to provide U.S. residents with access to our real-money poker and other real-money gaming sites."
Most online poker players are based in the Unites States, and online poker sites get much credit for helping to fuel the poker boom that has developed in the last few years.
"(The law) effectively cut off the funding for them to buy chips online, so yeah, I think it will put a huge dent in it," said Jeff Philips, a Greenville attorney who has played in the World Series of poker.
The publicly traded, London-based PartyGaming's shares fell nearly 60 percent after the announcement of its pulling out of the U.S>. market.
Some poker players fear that the new legislation banning online poker will force the more reputable betting companies out of American soil, placing players under the mercy of fraudulent smaller websites.