When it comes to gambling, online poker is an essential part of the entire industry. Having in mind that the game has been around for a fair while, poker has undergone quite a bit of change. The latest legal amendments in 2018 are just as interesting as they are necessary to develop the online industry in the United States. With the repeal of the 1992 PASPA act, the US may finally be seeing the rays of hope for a regulated future of its industry.
The Status Quo – No More
On 14 May, the US Supreme Court defeated a piece of legislation known as PASPA. The legal battle had been spearheaded by the state of New Jersey, one of the places in the United States that had been fighting for a legal status of online gambling. New Jersey had long pushed for a legalized industry and it had indeed paid over $8 million in legal bills.The decision of the Court mandated that PASPA’s federal reach should be snuffed out and that states should decide on their own whether they want to be part of a unified online industry. However, (online) poker, while a vastly popular game in the US, may still struggle to be implemented.
The Legal Pitfalls to Legalized Online Poker
The fact that some states may, in general, be favouring online poker doesn’t mean that the population is unanimous. To put it in simple terms, if there is no united front, then pushing through with a big decision as legalizing online poker may be decided by a popular vote, which will include all counties of a state.In other words, a state may never be united when it comes to the game because some of the citizens may refuse to cast their vote in favour of something they find inherently bad. Of course, legal online poker is what the proponents of the industry have been hoping for, but now a new battle may follow – convincing the public that poker is a game of skill. This way, a patchy legislation leaving some states out of the equation may be avoided.
Poker – Good for the Coffers
The online industry generates substantial revenue abroad where it is regulated. In Europe, the United Kingdom enjoys as one of the laxest places when it comes to online poker. While the US is letting up some of the pressure with PASPA, China remains adamant on controlling its casinos with a new series of bans. Meanwhile, Asia has chosen to support land-based casinos, which are still very much unlikely to take off.Nothing has changed in France and Denmark where the state remains largely in control of the future of online poker. In France, however, the government has been willing to pool French and Spanish online poker players together so as to increase the total prize pool of money.Whatever the future of online poker is, legal headwinds have not been as strong of late and this is refreshing.