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Legal Online Poker in 2010?

January 4, 2010 (CAP Newswire) – Will 2010 be the year that online gaming and Internet poker finally become fully (and hopefully permanently) legal in the United States? Or will we simply see more delaying tactics by politicians who don’t really want to give this controversial issue the attention it deserves?

Those who are inclined to think that the UIGEA will never be overturned do have some cause for their cynicism. However, with last year’s last-minute delay of the UIGEA regulations, and the end-of-the-year congressional hearings where Barney Frank finally got a chance to bring his pro-online gambling agenda to a wider audience, the year ended with a bit of momentum on the side of the groups fighting to legalize and regulate online gaming.

And things may play out based on what individual states do. As Kentucky renews its efforts to ban online poker from within its borders — by taking very questionable and so far unsuccessful legal action — groups within California have started a new drive to create an intrastate framework for their own online poker network.

Groups such as those in California fighting to regulate online gambling seem to realize what the federal government doesn’t — that there is a bounty of money to be made in the regulation of online poker. And also, that the current failure to regulate online gambling is just driving the activity into illegal areas.

“Illegal Internet gambling in the U.S. is happening now and growing,” Michael Bodsky, executive chairman of California-based Inc., testified in last year’s congressional hearings. “It’s a big business involving billions of dollars a year.” (Quote taken from Anna Tinsley’s “Online poker expected to get another look from Congress in 2010” at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.)