The Push towards the Legalization of Online Poker
It is an exciting time for all online poker players! There has been a lot action going recently in the fight to . According to a "Capitol Weekly" article written by Malcolm Maclachlan, Indian tribes based in California have an ongoing lobbying effort to legalize players located throughout the state to play poker.
Native American casinos located on Indian land are legal in the state of California, but so far they have not been authorized to offer online poker to people not physically present at the casino. These tribes face some pretty tough opposition, but with the many other legalization attempts by others it seems like they may win the war even if they lose this battle.
The IMEGA association (Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association) has challenged the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement act in the 3rd. U.S. Circuit court of appeals. IMEGA arrived at the courthouse on last month on July 7th with the intention of arguing that the act was too vague. They also tried to argue that bets actually take place on foreign servers where it is legal, and therefore is . The judge denied that motion, insisting that what mattered was the state the player inhabits when betting.
It may take another month or so for the judges to issue a decision, but it is believed they are focusing on state laws to enforce Internet gambling measures, and not federal laws. There is not any federal law that clearly prohibits online gambling, and this may be a huge victory for most online pokerplayers. Internet poker is not against state law in 40 states or more, this would allow millions of Americans to play online poker hassle free. The decision is expected to be handed down by November at the latest.
You have got to hand it to our British cousins. According to "The Telegraph" (a U.K. based newspaper), online gaming companies are pushing hard to legalize online gambling in the United States. Pokerstars, Partygaming, and Sporting bet are involved and they have already spent over $5 million U.S. dollars lobbying congress to legalize online gambling. A lobbyist organization by the name of UC Group has also lobbied government officials that hold office in the U.K. to gain political assistance and to apply pressure on the U.S. government.
The U.K. does not force companies to list the donations or how much was made. The reason this information is public knowledge is because of the fact the United States government requires companies to publish their lobbying statistics every quarter. It is good news indeed for poker players; the day of legalization may be closer than you think.
This last sentence now seems a bit like a prophecy, as France has regulated its online gaming market as of July 2010, revamping online gambling and online poker under tight control.
Updating this article as of September 2010, it appears that now all of the French online gaming market is (strictly) regulated without any known rogue site operating outside the law. The leader in this new local poker market is pokerstars which allows a pokerstars marketing code for a 100% bonus.