There is huge potential for the online poker market across the globe but the three states that legalized online poker have not had a lot of success. Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware are the only states in America that have licensed online poker and contrary to initial expectations, all three states have had a poor response.
Phil Nagy, the CEO of Winning Poker Network states that regulating online poker is not necessarily the best way to promote the growth of online poker as regulating the market requires a lot of legislation and restrictions to be imposed which curtail the free of the online poker player and often spoil the overall playing experience.
He pointed to the European markets and singled out France, Spain and Italy where online poker is legalized and they have experienced a similar market slump like Nevada and New Jersey. Most online poker players in these three countries have preferred to stay away from legalized websites and turn to underground poker websites to play regularly. Although it is illegal to play on these underground websites, there is a lot more freedom. Players are not subjected to high government taxes, they have more freedom due to the lack of restrictions and also have a more competition for them to improve their game and have a fun time.
There has been a huge push during the last couple of years in the U.S. for more states to legalize online poker and reports suggest that as many as 10 states are currently in talks regarding the possibility of legalizing online poker. Nagy believes that too much emphasis is being placed on the effort to legalize online poker in the U.S. and believes that even if these states were to approve online poker, the result will more or less be similar to New Jersey and Nevada because online poker players want freedom to play and not a list of instructions telling them what they should or should not do.
Illegal poker websites have continued to grow at a rapid pace both in Europe and the United States and have a strong following of online poker players who are very secretive about their online activities. Nagy believes that more attention should be given to improving the overall online poker experience instead of spending so much energy trying to regulate a market that will only decline. Nagy believes that before the end of 2016, his company Winning Poker Network will be amongst the top 5 online poker companies in the world.