It looks like it’s now not a question of whether or not we’ll have legal online poker in the US but how we’ll get legal online poker. The Department of Justice’s reversal of opinion on the 1961 Wire Act which stated that the act was only meant to apply to sports games has opened the door wide for new legislation and new opportunities. States have been quick to jump on the bandwagon. Nevada is already issuing online poker licenses, since they’d already passed a bill making online poker legal in the state as long as it wasn’t against federal law. A ruling that sounded backward at the time but turned out to be just the right view of things. New York has also announced that it’s looking into online poker and other states will undoubtedly be following the New York attitude.
Which is why the Poker Players Alliance has warned Congress that if it doesn’t act to bring in online poker on a federal level — NOW. Really, right now, it will lose the opportunity. Now from the perspective of a poker player, national online poker would be better because it would make online poker available to more people and focus less on smaller state casinos. But to the states, legislation by individual states is preferable because it means that each state can collect revenue from online poker rooms operating in their boundaries.
From congresses point of view, hmm, I don’t know what their point of view is. Perhaps it’s that if they leave it up to the individual states, they don’t have to go on the record for having an opinion. But really, the federal budget could use the money that online poker would bring it. Come on congress, show ‘em or fold ‘em.