It was dark day in the world of poker, as millions of avid poker players woke up to find out that their primary source of income and recreation had been swiftly whisked away from them in less time than it took to power up their computers or laptops.
Online poker had been declared illegal and the Department of Justice essentially evicted some the largest major online poker card room operators from U.S. soil and cyberspace.
After two years of complaints and poker players still trying to get some of their funds freed from their online accounts with these companies, it appears online poker could be making a comeback in select states throughout the U.S. Starting. Starting with Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada, there are increasing numbers of states looking to add their names to the list of online poker sanctuaries for the time being.
What’s basically happening, is that the U.S. Federal and State governments are beginning to recognize the unlimited revenue generating potential of online poker. With online poker receiving acceptance in these few states, this sets a form of precedent for future states to jump on the proverbial bandwagon.
Unlike the previous arrangement, that found online poker companies with offshore bank accounts raking in millions (even billions) of U.S. dollars, literally and virtually sucking the money right out of the country’s economy, these new online poker card rooms will have revenue that is generated for the state in which the games are taking place, albeit online. This is a key difference and one of the main reasons online poker is starting to – and will likely continue to – enjoy a resurgence in the states.
While brick and mortar casinos do not generate the majority of their revenue based off of poker due to the mere fact that a relatively small percentage of the game’s winnings (called a rake) is collected by the house while individual players trade chips and the majority of the money, online poker could prove to be a cash cow for state economies and U.S. government as a whole. Should online poker become legal in nearly all U.S. states, a shift may take place on the Federal level, making online poker a major contributor to the national economy.
One thing is for sure, no matter what the outcome, online poker is already starting to gain momentum and will continue to be the subject of headlines in a growing number of states across the country.