Planet Poker was the first online poker room launched in the US, back in 1998. A year later, Party Poker, which is today among the largest online poker rooms, was launched. However, on April 15, 2011, a day referred to as Black Friday, the online poker world crashed in the US. The Department of Justice (DoJ) seized the domain names of Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker—three major online poker rooms offering online gaming services to US players—and indicted their chief executive officers of bank fraud, illegal gambling, and money laundering. These poker rooms immediately withdraw their services from the US market.
Today, 8 months after the drama, people have begun hunting for votes and campaign funds and gaming companies are more than ready to grab opportunities to re-enter the US gaming market. If they provide campaign funds, they might be able to gain easy entry into the US and effectively pressurize the government to legalize and regulate the online poker industry.
Meanwhile, Nevada has already implemented laws that enable online gaming providers to run their online poker gaming services in Nevada. On Friday, the DoJ decided to change its ideas on online poker and stated that the Wire Act of 1961 does not apply to online poker because it is not a sport. Joe Barton, the representative of Texas, is all set to introduce a bill to legalize online poker this spring. Besides, California is also taking steps to legalize and regulate its online poker industry.
Since land casinos are now in support of launching online poker businesses, it cannot be long before the government bows to pressure and creates proper online poker laws, enabling the poker-loving section of US population to play poker from the comforts of home. Even Harry Reid, the senator of Nevada, changed his mind about not wanting to legalize online poker after Bally’s Technology and Caesars Entertainment expressed interest in launching online poker rooms.
US players commonly agree that the government needs to get actively involved in online poker issues to prevent further Black Fridays. Players are of the opinion that, if the US government had legalized the industry long back, a large number of ex Full Tilt Poker players wouldn’t have lost their poker funds.
Besides, playing online poker is a pleasure because it gives ambitious and talented players the chance to gain entry into prestigious live poker events such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP).