After thirteen US poker sites were shut down by US authorities, the poker community is baffled and absolutely at a loss when they try to predict what will happen to the US online poker industry. The ongoing internet poker indictments may end up delaying the process of legalization of internet poker further – if it were happening in the first place!
However, there is still hope for internet poker since poker giants, and internet gambling firms are still trying to find ways to survive. For example, as soon as the online poker sites were indicted, Bodog.com became Bodog.eu, and they would have definitely won over several thousands of players from the poker giants who were indicted.
If a few senators and congressmen who support internet poker have their way then the poker giants who are considered as criminals today might become tax-paying respectable citizens within no time, maybe even as early as 2013.
Considering the current state of the economy and the fact that there will be no increase in taxes, the US Congress needs revenue and hence internet poker and online wagering of these kinds would be considered a huge benefit. Analysts and other legislators have estimated that these kinds of online wagering could raise more than $2 billion on an annual basis in tax revenues. Everyone including democrats and republicans will be happy if this does happen.
US Attorney, Rod J. Rosenstein from Maryland has been a major player when it comes to cashing out the internet wagering sites and shutting them down. An investigation led by his office led to True Poker and Doyles Room being indicted.
Apparently more indictments are in the pipeline as virtual poker tables and sports betting internet sites are being targeted next. Prosecutors cannot easily go after the virtual poker tables since they operate outside the United States; hence they catch up with the payment processing companies instead. After having used a mole last time, the US government set up a fake payment processing website and used that to prove the defendants guilty of bank fraud and money laundering. According to lawyers it is a good way to build the case. After thirteen US poker and betting sites have been indicted – others are running scared as well since they have an increased number of customers coming to them.
The US Attorney from Maryland states that not every website can be shut down but blatant violators of the law had to be dealt with. Despite these statements they ignore questions regarding Bodog being free.
In any case, right now efforts to legalize internet wagering are running low on fuel, but there is a day not too far away when internet gambling would be legalized in the United States just like it is in the UK and most of Europe.