Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Freeze That Frame

Well, it looks like the sun is at last starting to set on the evil Gutshot empire. Butch and Sundance are finally about to exit the hideout, to meet the waiting feds. Only this time, no-one is playing Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head. Mr Moderator will put away his red crayon for the last time, little David Young will have to find someone else to pay him twenty quid to explain why nobody else but him has a clue, and people entering the World Series will have to do so under their own names.

Why has it taken so long for the boys in blue to get their act together? Since day one, it has been completely apparent to anyone interested that the entire operation is manifestly illegal. They don't have a Gaming license. Even if they did (and the chances of Trotter and Paddy ever convincing a magistrate that they are fit and proper persons are about as likely as Michael Arnold winning Miss World) they rake the pots, which is specifically outlawed in the legislation. Their puny defence about being a Private Members Club is a joke because firstly, even such establishments are not allowed to rake pots, and secondly, because the profits in fact go straight down the black hole of Dodgy Martin's and Bent Kelly's creative accounting procedures.

If entrepreneurship means spotting that there is a market in separating shell-suited wide boys from both their giro cheques and their pill-pushing income, then by all means, give them a Queens Award for Industry, but let's not pretend that there is any benefit to the poker world at large. By the time they are (hopefully) shut down, they will have creamed about half a million out of the poker economy. The true pity is that they are both banned from all UK casinos or else, with their legendary poker skills and a prevailing wind, it would all get lost back within about three months.