Recent reports indicate that the number of US poker players and ordinary people involved in the online poker industry looking to resolve the US online poker legalities is on the increase. Also, since many US poker players are missing out on online poker, the online casino industry is urging the US government to legalize the game.
Members of the Gaming Industry claim that around 1000 offshore websites are targeting the US market. They also state that it would be better if the government allows and regulates domestic gaming companies to provide for this service since this will be regulated better and will offer better protection to the players. It would also create jobs and bring in more revenue for the country and its people.
Virginia McDowell, president and CEO of the Isle of Capri Casinos, urges that the government should take a look at this issue. More and more commercial casinos are supporting the legalization of online poker since they face more competition from offshore companies who take advantage in the increasing poker popularity.
Despite the UIGEA being set up in 2006, people keep wagering and betting with less reliable offshore companies says the CEO of American Gaming Association Frank Fahrenkopf, and he also adds that US players need to know they are playing poker with law-abiding operators.
The casino executives have projected an income of $2 billion for state and local governments annually based on internet poker, but their pitch to legalize online poker to the lawmakers is based on consumer protection.
A poker advocate, John Pappas from the Poker Players Alliance says that he has been trying to get the casino industry involved in this regulation’s debate for a long time and now it has finally happened.
All three online poker companies that have been indicted have worked out a deal with the Department of Justice in order to return players’ funds but two of them have delayed the process since they have some internal and legal issues to sort out; only PokerStars has started paying out its players in parts.
The online poker bill is gathering more support on different grounds like consumer protection, increase in jobs and revenues, poker being called a game of skill and not of chance, etc and its increasing support by the poker advocates, casino executives, gaming executives and the like, along with part of the senate members in support of the same, it might be difficult for the US government to shrink away from a pending decision that has to be take to legalize online poker.