Poker writer Devin O’Connor has listed out issues that will have an effect on the poker industry in 2015.
Although land-based poker is legal in several states, only three US states have legalized and regulated online poker games. There are too many differences of opinion on the issue of online poker legalization. Writing at CardPlayer.com, O’Connor feels that several of these differences of opinion will be resolved in 2015.
The federal government passed into law the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006, leaving it to individual states to make their own online poker laws. No political event, including the presidential elections, is bound to change this situation. But this will not prevent candidates from voicing their opinions on Internet gaming; in fact, they will be expected to do so.
In 2006, Hilary Clinton had voted in favor of the UIGEA, which makes it illegal for US banks and financial institutions to process funds related to online gambling. However, in 2008, Hilary Clinton supported a study conducted to determine if online gambling can be regulated in the US.
Chris Christie is fully in favor of online gambling legalization. He was the one responsible for legalizing it in New Jersey. On the other hand, Jeb Bush dislikes online gambling and has spoken at an event organized by Sheldon Adelson in Las Vegas. Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate, is the most influential opponent of online poker in the US.
However, in spite of Adelson’s influence, his Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) was just not considered important enough in the lame duck session. It was one of Adelson’s attempts to ban online gambling at the federal level. This, however, does not mean that the RAWA is dead. If a Republican-dominated Congress passes it into law next year, US Internet poker is going to suffer.
A number of casino companies are in favor of online poker legalization. Caesars Entertainment has invested $2 million for lobbying activities. The Borgata, which is based in Atlantic City, as well as MGM Resorts have invested more than a quarter million.
The Poker Players’ Alliance (PPA), which was launched in 2005, is also in favor of online poker legalization at the federal level. The PPA had drawn up a list of 22 “political jokers” who are against online poker legalization and 21 of those in the list have been re-elected. This association can help create a better future for online poker in the US.