Online Poker Legislation is D.O.A.

by Lou on December 16, 2010

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s attempt to preside over the passage of online poker legislation during Congress’ lame-duck session is dead in the water.  Sources everywhere are saying that the bill will not be voted on or attached to another bill during the last few days of this session. It is muerto!

So where does that leave online players?

The good news is that you can still play poker online, just as you have been. There are no safeguards, no protection as there would be if the firms offering online poker were registered and licensed in the US.  There’s also no new revenue coming into our cash-strapped economy, and although that’s a different story altogether, this is one of those rare instances where Congress is not following the money, hands open, and willing to enact legislation that would facilitate licensing fees and revenues to roll into government coffers. Nevertheless, from the perspective of playing poker online, there’s absolutely no change from what you’ve experienced since UIGEA first reared its ugly head few years ago.

The bad news is that anti-online gambling supporters Spencer Bachus, Dave Camp, and Lamar Smith will head some of Congress’ most powerful committees in 2011, so the outlook for the near term is anything but rosy.

The battleground now moves to states like New Jersey, California, Florida and a few others who are looking into the prospects of taxing and regulating intrastate poker within their own borders. While this figures to generate revenue for states enacting such legislation, states offering intrastate poker would not be allowed to accept customers from other states and smaller states, with a presumably smaller player base, would have a difficult time offering anything close to a wide variety of cash games and tournaments at differing betting limits.

For players, it might be like moving from the Commerce Casino, with its almost infinite variety of games and limits, to a small, two-table poker room with not really much choice of games at all.

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