Are Online Poker Sites Returning to the United States?

by Lou on December 1, 2007

I’ve noticed something lately, and although it’s certainly no secret, it’s been a very low-key affair. But online poke rooms, many of which abandoned the US market in the wake of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act’s (UIGEA) passage in October 2006, are beginning to advertise once again in poker publications that distribute primarily in the United States.

While there are no grand announcements, and no TV advertising thus far, ads for online poker rooms are beginning to appear in print media. As editor of Poker Player Newspaper, I’m in a position to know. I’ve received more than a few emails recently from online sites inquiring about advertising, and asking that we send them a media kit and rate card.

Not all online poker sites plan on returning anytime soon. The publicly traded online rooms are probably going to eschew the American market until UIGEA is either reversed, held in abeyance, or a new law to regulate online gaming is enacted. But many of the privately held companies, without the listing restrictions that publicly traded firms must adhere to, can ignore UIGEA if they so choose.

They are beyond the reach of US law, though I’d suggest that any online rooms deciding to re-enter the US market ought to warn their senior staff about the dangers of getting on a plane that happens to land in the United States.

Funding accounts are still difficult, especially if you intend to play for relatively large stakes and need to make deposits that exceed, say, $500 per day. But where there’s a will, there’s a way, and in the case of online poker, the old adage, “Follow the money!” is still valid.

It’s nice to see that some of the firms that departed our shores are now screwing up the courage to return to the US market. Welcome home!

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