The movie Rounders show two friends trying to work together to pay off what's to them a massive debt resulting in all kinds of trouble and issues for the pair. Today nothing has changed with players pairing up to make ground breaking profits or alike the characters played by Matt Damon & Edward Norton to pay off debt.
As with underground card rooms and the dangers and violence shown in Rounders; many a player around the world get themselves into risky situations with no return. The movie for some players is an every day reality which could have been avoided all together with a different kind of thinking. Players in trouble in today's world have various backing systems and many a guide on bankroll management to avoid these situations.
The bad boys in poker will always be found hiding out in underground illegal card rooms though regardless of laws or possible outcomes. Simply it seems that casinos and legal rooms are just not enough for them, they seem to thrive on unnecessary risks and the company that goes with such risks.
As the rounders story depicts, without the security of legal online rooms and casinos many unethical poker activities do occur. Colluding, cheating, beatings the list could be endless. It is not surprising to anyone that there are casino and gaming laws for a reason! Fancy going heads up with a Mafia Don? Win or lose against him your dead meat outside your countries national security measures and in reality there is nothing you can do about it. You made the bed you lay in it, alike the rounders characters. There indeed can be a point of no return.
If we are not worried about the threat of violence, incurring debts and other associated risks in playing out of the gambling laws boundaries then maybe one should worry about the law itself. I don't know what legal complications could have been involved for Mike McDermott and his mate worm; however these days they are HUGE. Not just for the illegal players but of course for the card room "runners" also. Get caught, get prosecuted with the full force of the law. It really makes one wonder what benefit there is for anyone wanting to be involved in such activities.
I guess the movie Rounders does show us some benefits of gambling out of the constraints of our gambling laws throughout the world. One though must weigh these benefits up against their opposer.
Taxes would be one. For a professional gambler an illegal card room holds no records of winnings (and their own debtors and income as far away from sight as possible). Winning on a daily level in an unauthorised card room can be beneficial for tax evaders. On the other hand, tax evasion just adds to your list of criminal activities so is not advised.
In illegal card rooms the rake is far less. Rake can be a killer in casinos what with the legal gambling houses providing services such as dealers, drink waitresses/waiters and a perfect poker environment including security and all in all a brilliant atmosphere. This brilliant atmosphere although provided in some illegal rooms isn't for the benefit of the player, but the owner. The security guards are in general not there to protect you as one example! As for the rake, although it is cheaper you are feeding the hands of the unlawful and also putting yourself at risk for legal complications (yes, legal complications stated again).
Out of site, out of mind may be another reason to play in an illegal card room. Many players do not want their live statistics plastered out across the world for all to see. Whether be for private and unknown reasons or for the big T word above being TAX. The confidentiality in illegal rooms is strict. See no evil hear no evil, unlike racking up with 10k at your local casino where every Tom, Dick and Harry can see your winnings, performance and losses.
Regardless of all off this, again Rounders indeed shows a true story. A story commonly seen throughout the world. A story of desperation of two young men who stepped across the wrong line with what seemed no path to return.
Advisor is made by most people in the casino gaming industry and online poker industry to do things right to avoid complicated mess and troubles. Follow the laws, rules and regulations of gaming then you are unlikely to be harmed. I simply weigh up my decision without going into too much thought, a trusted online gaming site is going to treat me better then an illegal card room owner that would tie me to a chair and have me beaten for ten bucks!