According to Jon Porter, a former Congressman in Nevada, all chances of passing a federal-level online poker bill were wrecked because the gambling industry just could not make up its mind about online gambling.
Porter said that gambling companies realized too late that state lotteries and Indian tribes had to be included in online gambling legalization discussions in 2012. He said, “Those are some powerful groups. Each time the issue came up, the industry had a different perspective. The industry was sending too many mixed signals.”
Porter was sharing his views at a panel featuring Mark Lipparelli, former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and Tom Breitling, chairman of Ultimate Gaming. The trio spent around two-and-a-half hours talking about how the land gambling industry can peacefully co-exist with the online gambling industry.
Ultimate Poker, an online poker brand largely belonging to Station Casinos, is an excellent example of the peaceful co-existence of traditional land-based gambling and online gambling. The first licensed online poker site to be launched in the US, Ultimate Poker has half of the loyal Station Casinos customer base as its registered users. Moreover, Ultimate Poker players can use the loyalty points they have earned through real money online poker play at any Station Casino property in Las Vegas.
Breitling said: “We’re creating jobs, generating tax revenues, and protecting players. We’re learning every single day.” All the three agreed that it is high time the US federal government legalized online gambling, but only Porter expressed optimism that such a bill might be passed in the current term. He said, “It will come back this season. It won’t be a stand-alone bill. It will be attached to something else.”
While giving Senator Harry Reid the credit of proposing and popularizing the federal online poker bill, he said that Reid will not be able to manage it alone as he will not get the support of the Republicans.
Lipparelli and Breitling agreed that state-wise legalization is now the major focus of gambling companies. Now that Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey have already legalized online poker, other US states such as California are seriously considering following in their footsteps. All speakers were absolutely sure that online gambling will stay in the US for a long time.
When asked about PokerStars, Porter expressed fears that Nevada, which has a “bad actor” clause in its regulations, would suffer if PokerStars got a license in New Jersey.