The legality of online gambling is a hot topic among residents of countries across the world. Certain countries such as France and Italy have already segregated their players to within country borders. This means people who reside in these places may only play on state approved sites. The good thing about rules like this is, there is some type of legitimate regulation run by the government.
However, most places around the world stand in a state of uncertainty about whether online gambling is legal.
The most prevalent case of this is the online poker case in the United States. For years there was little to no information or laws that spoke about online poker. There were outdated and antiquated laws that made certain types of online games illegal, specifically betting on sports, but otherwise, there was a massive grey area that was left like this for years.
It wasn’t until the events of Black Friday where the U.S. government decided to shut down some of the major poker rooms that the talk began to stir up among lawmakers.
At the forefront of this march were Senator Reid and Senator Barney Frank. Their efforts were put to the test while they proposed numerous bills in front of their peers, all being shot down without the support of opposing party members.
It wasn’t until the Department of Justice declared poker to be a game of skill that lawmakers began to change their tune. Many felt that a federal bill that would regulate the entire population was the best route, and I agree with this as well. But, as usual, the lawmakers tiptoed around this topic for over a year and little was done.
This made state level politicians to pave their own way and go about regulating online poker in their states. The first to do so was the obvious in Nevada. Soon to follow was New Jersey and Delaware. Many other states are on the way to legalizing and more importantly, regulating online poker.
While states see that online gambling is a perfect opportunity to raise funds for their ever shrinking economy, only one has yet to actually launch an online poker room.
As of this writing, (June 14th, 2013) only Nevada has an online poker room live. The lone room is called Ultimate Poker and is owned and operated by several gambling insiders along with founders of the UFC.
It’s clearly obvious that online poker is on its way to the United States, but the question still remains, to what level?
It’s still unclear if the federal government will step in and opt for a total union of sites instead of a state by state run mess. I use the word mess, because having each state decides what to offer and how to regulate it, would be just that.
A new federal level bill has been introduced and it’s said that it stands to be the best chance yet of having a federal bill passed. It’s still very in the process, but all we can do at this point is wait.