Online Poker CEOs In US Optimistic For Legalization
We all know the online poker industry in the United States has suffered since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed. Even though a great effort has been put into changing the legislation, people have lost faith in it actually happen, and let’s admit it, so have many of you.
The good news is that many industry experts seem to disagree with us mortals; the titans of the online poker industry actually see a bright future ahead for online poker in the United States and their positivity should be spread so we all catch up on the vibe.
The question on the floor now is, should we expect this to change?
Let’s Recall A Little Bit.
The UIGEA was passed in 2006 and it is any poker player’s biggest nightmare. Even though the act does not ban online poker per se, it bans the ability of financial institutions to process transactions with online gambling operators in places where online gambling was deemed illegal. After the act was passed, online poker was not an illegal activity and the act could not be explicitly enforced. Many online poker companies left the US market with the fear that online gambling would be soon declared illegal and thinking their investments were pointless.
The real downer came in October last year, when the Safe Port Act passed almost unanimously in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Safe Port Act protects the security of US borders, and to everyone’s surprise the UIGEA had been quietly attached to it so when they passed together, offshore online poker operators could no longer provide services to US players and the amount of options American poker players had for online poker sites became very limited.
Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel?
On the bright side, brick and mortar casino CEOs seem to think that there is light at the end of the tunnel. While the ban affecting online poker is being appealed, CEOs are holding meetings and presentations for their companies to attract investors to the US online poker market with the conviction that the ban will be lifted and the market will prosper. These people receive advice from experts in politics, economics, law and online gaming, so their steps are to be taken seriously.
Last week, Gary Loveman, the CEO of Caesars Entertainment, a giant in the land-based casino industry, held his quarterly conference call to their investors. Loveman stated his firm optimism for the regulation and legalization of online poker in the United States and discussed plans for Caesars to launch their own online poker venue 12-14 months after online poker is legalized.
Other leading online poker firms have stated their intent to enter the US online poker market, such as Donald Trump’s Entertainment Resorts, MGM and Feritta Interactive. Offshore companies are also making studies to re-enter the US market. PartyPoker has had its eye on the market throughout 2011 and Bwin merged with Boyd and MGM hoping that their new company will cater online poker to US players.
The US online poker market will probably be the largest in the world once online poker is regulated and companies around the world would like a piece of that pie. Let’s join the optimist trend and hope that US players will be enjoying legal online gambling fairly soon.
What are your thoughts on online poker legislation in the US? What would you do to change it? Share your ideas with other American affiliates and players at our forums!
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