Online Poker Legalization Nearly a Reality?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from Nevada has introduced the Internet Poker Act of 2010 that would effectively make online poker legal.Â While many poker players and companies are waiting with anticipation for the passage of this bill, I figured I would take a couple of minutes and review what this new bill would mean for internet poker as it currently stands.
First, only existing casinos, race tracks, and slot machine makers will be authorized to have a license within the first two years after the bill being passed.Â Furthermore, existing online poker rooms are prohibited from transferring their assets to a licensed entity.Â What this essentially boils down to is that if you play on any online poker site that currently services the United States, your sites will not be licensed and essentially it will be illegal for you to play on those sites.Â As such, if this bill passes in its current form, expect a pull out of all major online poker sites so that they can prepare for legalization.
Next, expect Caesars Entertainment to instantly move in and become one of the top, if not THE top site on the internet.Â They already have an online poker site setup for international players, and since they have licensed casinos all across the country, they should be the first in line to get licensed.Â Also, expect a lot of new sites to popup from legal organizers.Â For a while, there very well may be new sites popping up frequently like there was back after the poker boom began.
Granted, this bill is still in its early stages, and changes could be made.Â However, should the main part of the bill stay as it is, expect a lot of upheaval in online poker for the next two years as the major sites bide their time to get licensed and others try to find their ways into the market.Â Then, around 2013, expect a major influx of poker sites return to the US.Â Essentially, the full legalization of online poker may be about 2 years away.