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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Barghava internet

Bhargava also applied internet marketing techniques, such as offering incentives to outsiders who recruited new players to the site. These affiliates could be existing players, other websites or even online poker bloggers, of which there are hundreds. "We have learned what works online," he says. "These techniques could have been used for selling books online or whatever. We put it to use in poker."

So what of the key issue of the legal status? No poker website dares to base itself in the US, where the Wire Act, forbidding gambling across state lines, is potentially a frightening piece of legislation. Party Poker bases itself in Gibraltar, which is also the home of the online operations of the British bookmakers Ladbrokes and Victor Chandler. It also has a 1,000-strong call centre in Hyderabad in India.

Bhargava's view is that the Wire Act applies to sporting events, not poker, which is deeply embedded in the culture of US colleges and the military. Setting foot in the US holds no fears. "I go to the US very frequently," he says. "I am an Indian passport holder and have a 10-year multiple-entry visa to the US."