U.S. Poker Market Gets Regulated; At Least It’s A Start

The Regulated US Poker Market Emerges In Some States

Online poker is getting regulated … and although I’m not much of a fan of regulation, at least it’s a start to getting more gaming options on the table across the country.
PR Newswire just sent out a press release noting how happy they were to see a regulated online poker market emerging in some states.
Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada have all passed bills regulating online poker.
Best of all, on May 1st UltimatePoker in Nevada became the first online poker room regulated in the US.
Other states are following suit … or at least thinking about it. In Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Mississippi, there is some hope that the state will take action to regulate online poker so it will be easier for American players to play to their hearts content.
There’s also a new federal online gambling bill being carried in Congress by U.S. Rep. Peter T. King, Republican Congressman from New York. Another federal proposal may be in the offing.
There are still problems. Player liquidity may cause issues between small states and large states and when money starts crossing state borders, it’s hard for folks to agree on the rules.
The two major hurdles for more states to jump on the regulation bandwagon have to deal with convincing bigger states to learn to share when it comes to poker cash. The thinking, according to the Press Release by the Bodog Network,  is that poker operators in smaller states will struggle but if they are allowed to offer other products that do not rely on player liquidity, e.g. online casinos, even operators in small states can be successful.
And we’ve got to agree with Bodog’s analysis that the potential market size for online casinos is much bigger than for online poker rooms. Of the three states mentioned above Delaware and New Jersey will allow online casino games but Nevada will not. Online casino play is also part of Peter T. King’s federal bill but that will make it even less likely for that bill to pass.
Nevada, with a population of only 2.7m, is instead hoping that they can persuade the big neighbour California to join their player liquidity and that would, of course, be a dream scenario for Nevada but, again, why would they? There would be nothing in it for California, especially as they have well documented financial problems of their own to solve.
California has a population of 37m people, and The Golden State does not have to worry about player liquidity. If California were a country it would be the 12(th) biggest economy in the world. If California were to regulate online poker, and there is talk about it, it would create a California Gold Rush for the online poker industry. Everybody would want to have a piece of the action. If poker operators would do things right from the start and launch with a recreational poker model instead of trying to implement it later, California alone is potentially a billion dollar market.

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