Posted By: Brooks Siegel
Online poker and gambling are part of the online experience that is growing and showing no signs of slowing down. Speaking specifically on the issue of online poker, there are many issues the United States needs to address to provide a profitable and safe online experience for the country and the players that enjoy the online gaming experience. At this moment in time there is no actual Federal Law banning the play of poker online. However, on a state level only two states have passed legislation that allows for online gambling to be conducted within their states boundaries. Not surprisingly these two states are New Jersey and Nevada. Nevada was the pioneer state and New Jersey has taken their lead. Online poker currently is not regulated on a state level. Nevada and New Jersey are in essence waiting to see what happens on a federal level but it is likely that these state will pursue options even without federal legislation.
The law as it stands in Nevada Revised Statutes Section 465.093 makes it a misdemeanor to “place, send, transmit or relay through a medium of communication a wager to another person or an establishment that is located within or outside of this state.” Online sports betting is currently the only form of gambling that has survived this current law.
The reality of online poker provides a major opportunity for communities to generate a huge amount of revenue. Currently there are hundred of thousands of online poker players within the United States that are illegally engaging in online poker. This number was even higher a few years ago before the majority of the major online poker sites were shutdown. If the states were confident enough to move forward with legislation to advance the business of online poker it could provide a major source of income for states. Their reluctance exists because of the lack of federal guidance.
As long as gambling is allowed in this country there is no reason that it should not be allowed in an online experience. While yes there are ethical and moral arguments to exclude gambling from our society, but that is an entirely different issue. Online gambling can not only be the most profitable form of gambling but also the easiest to safely regulate. A state or online casino will not have to employ an army of employees to regulate the environment due to its digital existence. On top of it being easy to regulate it will be easier to regulate from a legal and economic standpoint. All users would be registered and be forced to submit their funds electronically, which would be much easier to keep record of. This would eliminate many of the live casinos problems of fraud and money laundering type schemes.
Nevada has the support of its Governor to push through online poker moving forward. It makes sense for the rest of the country to jump on board. People in every state are able to play as it is right now. The states might as well make it legal and regulated so they can not only capitalize from but keep their citizens safe from improper practices.