What do the Experts Have to Say about Online Poker?

November 19, 2012

As Nevada is planning to launch online real-money poker, there are numerous concepts that experts have come up with so to understand the complexities and challenges of this emerging industry. Most experts are doubtful about the Congress approving Nevada-friendly strategy proposed by Sen. Harry Reid. Reid wants to limit USA’s internet gambling to just horse racing, lottery tickets, and player-player poker. Now, it is time to see if the legislators will come up with a more extensive federal plan soon.

Harry Reid’s plan

By restraining the reach of online gambling, Harry Reid plans to safeguard casinos in Nevada from online competition. This will also help in boosting Nevada as a pioneer in regulation and development of national online poker sector. However, without any federal action, online poker will mostly be regulated and approved on a state-to-state-basis, just like lottery. It is important to note that online poker operators are more likely to experience different taxes and rules imposed by the state. Federal oversight will not exist and the regulators in Nevada might not enact the crucial regulatory role that Reid has envisioned.

Like Reid, the American Gaming Association is insisting on limited internet gambling. However, some of the lottery and casino industry executives are already in favor of more internet games. They want to see online play expand to slot machines, video poker, and blackjack. Most of the European online casinos have a large game variety. So, the lottery and casino operators see this as the next rational stride in the US.

It is, however, unclear how the present land-based casinos in Nevada will be affected by this online competition. Few analysts state that over 9,000 jobs will be created in land-based casinos if limited internet gambling is legislated. It looks like regulators in Nevada will take the lead in expanding and supervising it. Then, Nevada will be seen as the heart of the US when it comes to the internet poker industry.

Contrasting opinions

On the other hand, there are few experts who have a contrasting opinion when it comes to the effects of development of internet gambling on visitation of resorts in Las Vegas. As of now, it is not very clear whether the introduction of intrastate internet poker proposed by Nevada will be a huge money-maker. Most analysts feel that California and other populated states will have to regulate it and let sites based in Nevada serve these players. This is the only way online poker can become a huge business in the US.

Political scenario in the US

The regulators in Nevada have offered initial approvals to sixteen firms that intend to take part in the intrastate internet poker. However, Congress is not very keen on limiting internet gambling to only poker. This means that Nevada might start off with internet poker, while other states might come forward with various forms of online gaming. Some of the states like Delaware and Illinois have already started off with internet lottery ticket sales and online casinos approval.

Is Federal Law a must?

The states were provided with the right to regulate internet gaming during the end of 2011, when the Justice Department offered a novel interpretation of the federal law. The previous law blocked internet casinos and poker even in states like Nevada. Some critics observe that limiting internet gambling to just poker can be an attack on the authorities of the state. Reid has been asked by the National Governors Association to include all the states while planning to regulate online gaming. However, Governor Brian Sandoval has written a letter to Reid supporting his approach. Sandoval feels that the state legislation alone cannot tackle the issue of online gambling.

The future of online poker in the US

The American Gambling Association has argued that a federal law is required to restrict minors from online gambling. It will also prevent money laundering and address gambling problems and fraud. This will ensure that the players are not cheated. But, some people feel that Reid’s plan is biased towards Nevada. Online casino executives taking note of the political atmosphere have discussed about online poker being embraced on a state-to-state basis. So, there are contrasting opinions when it comes to the introduction of Nevada’s intrastate poker industry.