• How Internet Poker in the US Might Look in Next 12 Months: Think Powerball Model

    With the US Department of Justice changing its stance on applying The Wire Act to Internet poker, individual states now have the green light to begin offering real money play to their citizens.

    The vast majority of states do not have the population necessary to support a viable player pool, however.

    Case in point: Nevada has already passed a law that would allow real money intrastate play but its under 4 million residents will only allow for a handful of profitable businesses, and that is being somewhat overly optimistic.

    What the poker playing community is hoping for will be a system similar to the multi-state lottery platform (i.e. Powerball). Here is how it works:

    The Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) is a non-profit, government-benefit association owned and operated by its member lotteries. Each MUSL member offers one or more of the games administered by MUSL. All profits are retained by the individual lotteries and are used to fund projects approved by the legislature authorizing each lottery.

    Formed in 1987, MUSL’s first multi-state game was “Lotto America”. The game ran four years before being replaced. On April 22, 1992 the first “Powerball” drawing was held.

    Just as individual states will want to offer online poker, others, such as Utah, are already looking to opt out.

    Legalized online horse racing works the same way with just over a dozen US states electing to opt out. Ironically, one of the states jumping head first into the Internet gambling fray, New Jersey, does not permit online horse racing by its citizens despite a federal mandate (the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act) that allows the activity.

    All these potential bills, the change of heart of the DOJ, pending federal legislation and the other bravado we here at Gambling911.com have been reading over the past two weeks means little without the proper platform in place to move funds in and out of licensed sites.

    Even though TwinSpires.com is a legal horse betting site owned and operated in the United States, the banks are not discriminating between the so-called “good” and “bad” online gambling companies. Horse racing sites and over-the-counter lottery retailers often have credit cards denied due to the broad brush painted across an entire industry. It’s basically all or nothing, and right now the banks are not in any mood to process payments related to gambling.

    A federal bill awaiting approval in Washington seeks to blacklist offshore Internet gambling firms from conducting business in the US by way of a “Blacklist”. That might work in China, but the United States was not built on a foundation of censorship.

    The odds are good that offshore enterprises would still co-exist with their licensed US counterparts. The later would – in theory – have an upper hand just from branding alone. It is doubtful the likes of a Donald Trump would care one iota if he must compete with the likes of a Joe Blow Poker based out of Curacao.

    In just a matter of days, states like Nevada and New Jersey have ramped up their efforts to pass legislation while others have hinted at getting on board the train before it leaves the station.

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