In the U.S. Congress, online poker has been gaining support. At least poker playing online did seem to be getting bipartisan sponsorship until the Republican National Convention was held and the Democratic National Conventions started. The Republican platform called for a prohibition of web-based gambling and the Dems followed suit by simply not mentioning the practice.
Lost in the GOP’s condemnation of online poker and gambling and the Dems decision to simply omit it are a few very important facts. The first one is that millions of Americans still play poker online for real money and gamble at online casinos each and every day. These poker sites and casinos are located offshore in other jurisdictions.
The second is that various states are poised to start offering online gaming and will probably do so. New Jersey, Delaware and other states have been very active in their desire to offer web-based gambling.
The third is that in July Senate minority whip from Arizona John Kyl was said to be collaborating with Senate majority leader from Nevada Harry Reid to create an online poker bill for the U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.) was working diligently to get Republicans to support their efforts.
The Democratic platform is expressed in a 70-page paper entitled Moving America Forward and apparently online poker is not part of that forward movement. This negation of Internet poker rooms comes after years of lobbying efforts by organizations such as the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the introduction of various bills and numerous public hearings.
For poker players wanting to play in online poker rooms located in the U.S., for states that are hoping to garner revenues from these efforts and for poker software companies that have teamed up with U.S. casinos in an attempt to be the first in line to offer legally sanctioned services in America this latest turn of events is disappointing.
Although it won’t stop efforts to legalize online poker and gambling, it will certainly hinder them. It did seem as if resistance to the online game was waning. Nevada has everything set in place to get the ball rolling once online gaming is approved by the U.S. Congress and various Las Vegas casinos have signed contracts with foreign online poker providers.
However, not everyone in Las Vegas supports Internet gambling. Sheldon Adelson, a major Republican donor who is close to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and who is the chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, opposes it. He says he’s worried about young people becoming addicted to online gambling.
Don’t expect to see any action regarding online poker in the U.S. until after the presidential election. If the Republicans take the presidency and control congress, online poker will have a lot of challenges to face. If the Democrats keep the presidency and are the majority in congress, then Internet poker will probably see more support. Whatever the case may be it will be years before Americans can play without having to send their deposits to off shore accounts via Western Union.