One of the biggest questions on poker players' minds involves when online poker will become legal again. Since the advent of the UIGEA, players from the United States have found it increasingly difficult to fund their online poker accounts.
Also, many online card rooms have left the market altogether fearing backlash from the U.S. government.
The skill vs chance debate
One of the largest hurdles facing opponents of the UIGEA and similar laws in other states involves determining whether poker is a game of skill or chance. Of course, most of us know that poker is indeed a game of skill. Over time, the skillful player will finish ahead.
Many players have stepped forward and educated Congress on this fact.
Poker does have a luck element involved and as a result, a player that goes on an incredible hot streak can finish well in the short term. Unfortunately, some people will look at the entire game as a game of luck due to this fact.
For some, it will be next to impossible to convince them that poker is a game of skill when they see big hands cracked time and again. As we all know, things can change with the turn of a card.
Poker is a game of people
The great thing about poker is that fact that the human element is involved. In order to play poker effectively, you must be able to play the people as well as the cards. If poker was a straight card game such as blackjack, it would truly be a game of luck. The person that got the best hand would always win.
That is not the case. Sometimes a player with 7-2 can bluff someone off a pair of nines on a high flop. A person with four hearts on his board in a stud game can push someone off of their big pair. The ability to manipulate the players should ultimately decide the issue of skill vs. luck.
In the end, it is my opinion that online poker will become legal again in the United States.
Billions of dollars in tax revenue
As soon as the government has the ability to either regulate it or effectively tax the game or at least the players from the United States. Online poker generates Billions in revenue each year and if the United States government can figure out a way to get their cut, then you will see poker return to the United States.
When poker becomes legalized in the U.S. again, a major change that I anticipate is some type of regulatory body that will be in charge of enforcing U.S. laws on gambling sites and poker sites such as gaming commission regulate brick and mortar casinos.
Another potential outcome that we might see is that the U.S. government may give the states the opportunity to decide on a case by case basis whether they will allow online poker. Of course, if this happens, we will have to put up with over 50 decisions regarding poker and things may become more of a mess than they are now.
Of course poker will be legal again!
Ultimately, I think poker in the U.S. will become legal again. When that will happen remains to be seen, but I do anticipate it in the next four years. As we know, President Obama is a poker player and there is serious pressure being put on lawmakers to make poker legal.
A decision is coming. When that decision gets here, odds are it will be in poker's favor and poker will, at least for a time, experience a second boom.