The online poker gaming community was plunged in gloom when the US federal government cracked down on three giant online poker services PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker and forced their withdrawal from the US online poker market. One of the advantages of this gloomy event is the legalization of online poker in Washington D.C., the US capital.
The Lottery Modernization Act of 2010 was passed on April 7, 2011 without the Congress making any objections. This bill legalizes a few games of chance and online poker, enabling the Washington D.C. based Intralot, a provider of lottery services, to provide online poker services to players residing in the capital of the USA. The bill has made this possible by making a small change in its definition of the word lottery.
However, many professional online poker players in the US are hardly enthusiastic about the fact that Washington D.C. has legalized online poker. Phil Hellmuth, the internationally acclaimed online poker player, who has won almost every single championship title that the competitive online poker world has to offer and has more World Series of Online Poker (WSOP) bracelets to his credit than any other online poker player in the industry, has emphatically claimed that he cannot see how online poker can work out in the capital of the USA.
In the first place, he points out that there just aren’t many professional online poker players in Washington D. C. Hellmuth believes that people are basically looking for a place to play online poker; he said that it wouldn’t be surprising if people just don’t find enough opponents online. Stating that the legalization of online poker in Washington is a “nice test,” with Washington D.C.’s population of 600,000, Hellmuth believes that there will not be enough players at the online poker site.
Indeed, if what Hellmuth believes is true then there just won’t be enough players online at the same time to make playing poker fun at any online site based in Washington D.C.
The fate of Full Tilt Poker, which was ejected from the US poker market and later had its licenses to operate suspended by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC), is one of the worst results of the US online gaming laws on online poker. The capital city of the USA might have legalized the game, but it is still not available to a vast majority of the US population that wants to play online poker.