Much of what I’ve read in the last two weeks captures the essence of this post and the next one - it seems like a time for optimism AND pessimism. This post will explain why I’m very optimistic about being able to play LEGAL online poker sometime this year, and the next post will take the dark side.
Why I am Optimistic:
1. I always have HOPE (although I know that hope is not a plan).
2. It’s MORE than time this thing got resolved.
3. The recent Department of Justice decision regarding the 1961 Wire Act. This supposedly only applies to sports betting; allowing states the right to offer their lotteries online, and the thinking is that online poker will soon follow.
4. Several individual states are getting their legislative act in gear - Nevada, New Jersey, DC, and others may have the “OK” in place sometime soon, allowing for INTRA-state online poker. That means only those living in Nevada could play…but see #5.
5. The precedent for INTER-state play has already been set - twice. Powerball and Mega Million lotteries are inter-state, as is horse racing simulcasts. It seems that while some states could opt-out of being a part of online poker, many more would have some sort of reciprocal agreement and want to opt-in.
6. Many of those who used to be opposed to online gambling now seem to be on the “let’s do it” side. Most important of these are the major casinos, as they now see how they might be able to get a piece of the action.
7. Finally, it just might be that this is no longer a morality issue. I have no idea why Congress felt it needed to sneak thought the legislation that became the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006. I always suspect, due to those who were in favor, that gambling is still seen as one of those sins that we Americans are always in need of protection from. But, like so much that used to be a sin but which is now seen as “normal” (don’t start me), the “threat” on online gambling is much, much lower than ever before. Poker is everywhere…EXCEPT online, so morality isn’t the issue anymore.
Next time - why I’m pessimistic.