Poker in the U.S. of A.

It looks like the online poker world is goinig to get a big shake-up soon, with the launch of legal online poker in New Jersey. The NJ launch is making a bigger splash than the legalisation of poker in Nevada did. In both cases, it is only legal for persons physically present in the respective states to play at the properly licenced online poker rooms, but even so, it is a step in the right direction.

The people in the know think that the next step, after other states legalize online gambling, will be the formation of ‘compacts’ between the states where gambling is legal so that players in any designated state will be able to play on any ‘partner’ site. That will be a major step towards the return of legal online poker across the whole of the U.S.A., but it may be some time off just yet.

The DOJ can stop taking down poker sites now that poker will be legal in the USA big question that I haven’t seen addressed so far is what will happen to those poker sites that continued to service the American market while all this regulation was being formulated. It will be interesting to see just what will become of those rooms that ran a big risk by continuing to accept US players while the DOJ was on a witchhunt.

Somehow, I don’t think the NJ situation will cause those rooms to shut down overnight. If anything, I think it will be to their benefit. Online poker will soon no longer be ‘dirty’ and ‘shady’ which will give rise to more Americans looking to play online, many of whom I think will find their way to existing American friendly poker rooms.

And what of those sites that stayed in the American market until forced to stop by various US government agencies. Poker Stars and Full Tilt come to mind.

It does seem a bit iniquitous that these sites should have been the target of long running government agency operations while just months later poker is lovely and legal again.

But aside from that, will they be allowed to play in America again? And other sites, sites that made deals with the DOJ, and paid hefty fines, like Party, what will they get for their fines now?

It all remains to be seen, and we are nowhere near finished yet, but it should be very interesting to watch.

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