Ultimate Gaming, a prominent social gambling company, has launched the first licensed and regulated real-money online poker room in the United States. Although only Nevada poker players can register at the online poker room at present, this state of affairs might change in the near future as more and more US states legalize and regulate online poker.
Online poker legality has always been a gray area in the US, with each US state treating live and online poker in different ways. However, when the US Department of Justice (DoJ) cracked down on major offshore online poker rooms in May 2011, US poker players finally got the message that the feds definitely disapprove of online poker gaming.
The federal crackdown of May 2011, commonly referred to as the Black Friday of online poker, left US poker players with two options—leave the US and play online poker legally in foreign countries or register at offshore online poker rooms and break US gambling laws.
However, in Dec 2011, the federal government suddenly changed its attitude toward online gambling and announced that the federal Wire Act applies only to sports betting, not to online poker and casino gambling. Immediately US states such as Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada passed bills to legalize and regulate intrastate poker and some forms of casino gambling.
Now that Ultimate Gaming has launched its online poker product in Nevada, the state has become the first in the US to offer licensed and regulated online poker gambling facilities. Tobin Prior, CEO of Ultimate Gaming, said:
There was Black Friday, and now we’re going to have Trusting Tuesday. Players won’t have to worry if their money is safe. They are going to be able to play with people they can trust and know the highest regulatory standards have been applied.
As many as 20 companies are on the verge of launching online poker rooms in Nevada.
UltimatePoker.com has a long registration procedure, in which players have to reveal their cell phone and social security numbers. The online poker room will accept only players who have completed 21 years of age. Ultimate Gaming, which operates UltimatePoker.com, is eager to please not only poker players, but also Nevada lawmakers and regulators. Tom Breitling, chairman of Ultimate Gaming, calls it
an opportunity to show the world how to properly run online poker.
Prior says that Ultimate Poker will soon become successful because of its association with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).