Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 Three Positive Changes for Poker with State-Based Legislation
Gone will be the days of the massive team of sponsored pros.
Online poker legalization within the United States is trending toward being a state issue when all is said and done.
Nevada has already legalized it, and other states are examining the issue closely.
If state legislation turns out to be the primary way that poker becomes legal in this country, it will look somewhat different than what we have seen in the past.
That's a good thing.
Here are a few positive changes in the industry that will occur with state online poker legislation.
1) Player-to-Player Transfers Eliminated
Player-to-player transfers have been the primary way that many accounts have been funded in the past for online poker.
While this has been convenient, this has also been a huge source of controversy as well as a way for people to be scammed.
State legislation is going to effectively eliminate online player-to-player transfers. Players will be forced to fund an account either with their checking account, credit card or in person at the casino or company connected with the site.
The first benefit behind these funding options is that they will be entirely legal as well as held in accounts that are segregated.
The second benefit is that it means that players will not fall victim to being scammed out of their money.
Player-to-player transfers have been a tool used by many scammers to trick people into sending them a transfer and then dashing with their cash. Sometimes the funds can be recovered, but in many instances the money is gone.
2) Fewer "Sponsored Pros"
In most of the legislation that has been released thus far, online poker operators will have limits on how many players can play at their site as a sponsored pro. In addition, they must offer full disclosure regarding who is a pro, how much the pros are making and the extent of their association.
Gone will be the days of 150 players or more being sponsored by one site like Full Tilt Poker. While this will not be a benefit to the pros, it will be a benefit for players as sites will be able to focus more money on improving the games for players as opposed to paying off a stable of sponsored players.
Also, you won't have as many games with 50 players in a queue waiting to try and pull off their own big move against a pro.
Playing with the pros should become more of a big deal instead of a regular occurrence at the low-stakes tables.
3) Regional and Targeted Promotions
While there are certainly some great online promotions, most are promotions that the average player will not be able to achieve or they are for prizes that are impractical.
State legislation will allow the sites to focus promotions and prizes on the local and state level and make it similar to a locals casino.
That doesn't mean that promotions to things like the WSOP won't exist, but many promotions will be targeted to the local area and likely more obtainable by the casual poker player.
Online poker at the state level, at least in its infancy, will be small scale poker. While some markets will still have massive player pools, many states will have to be creative to get players to come and stay at their sites.
In the end, this may prove more beneficial to the casual player than national legislation that allows mega-sites to bring in players from all over the US and the world.