U.S. Online Gambling Regulatory Updates
March 16, 2010 (CAP Newswire) – In Iowa, the recent initiative by certain lawmakers to start up an Internet gambling regulation framework (which would have been harmful to the international online gambling affiliate marketing industry) appears headed for nowhere. Not only that, but the legislation is also being blamed for sinking larger offline gambling regulation initiatives in that state, according to this report from the Des Moines Register — meaning that a renewal of the plan is unlikely.
In Nevada, lawmakers are preparing a bill intended to “clarify the relationships between Nevada-licensed land casino operators and their online counterparts,” according to Gamingwire (via RecentPoker.com). Such a law would affect many major online gambling brands that have deals with land-based gambling companies operating in Nevada, such as the companies operating official WSOP tournaments. (WSOP is owned by Harrah’s.)
Whether this is an attempt to limit online gambling or an attempt to simply get the state’s entire gambling operations under one better monitoring system remains to be seen. It could even turn out to be good for the Internet gambling industry. But at this point, it’s hard tell what the results will be.
And an interesting side story is that, in recent months, many new online poker rooms have popped up in the U.S. that have figured out how to sidestep the UIGEA, Wire Act, and other such anti-Internet poker laws.
The solution? The new poker rooms charge players a recurring membership fee, but don’t charge to actually play poker. Instead, the rooms hold free tournaments, and the player who wins gets a cash prize. Just how legally sound this new method is remains to be seen (it hasn’t yet been challenged), but so far, many sites have cropped up to take advantage of the technique. Read Tom Somach’s “Many Online Poker Rooms Are Springing Up in US” here.