While some industry insiders predicted a possible poker boom in the U.S. in 2014, it now looks as though legislative advancement may not take hold until 2015.
A “domino effect” of regulation on a state-by-state basis was supposedly in the cards once a few states established their online poker and gambling regimes. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have done exactly that, but there is no telling when the next state will join the three who have already broken ground.
California and Iowa were thought to be candidates to enact online poker legislation this year. However, recent reports indicate that the former may not pass any bills of that magnitude during this election year, while the latter is taking a ‘wait and see’ approach and analyzing the success of the markets that have begun operating.
Pennsylvania has also seemingly put igaming regulation on the back burner, choosing first to carefully study how its neighboring state of New Jersey fares in its online gambling endeavor. The matter may be considered this year in the Pennsylvania legislature, but lawmakers in that state appear not to be in any hurry to have sites up and running in 2014.
To further complicate matters, Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson has stepped up efforts to wipe out online poker and gambling via his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. Whether the billionaire casino mogul’s efforts will be successful remain to be seen. However, Adelson certainly has the financial resources to make a solid attempt and, at the very least, to seriously slow things down.
As it stands now, the majority of Americans who wish to play online poker will have to do so at unregulated sites. This has been the norm since the early 2000s when online poker sites began popping up. From the looks of things, 2014 will be more of the same for those who do not reside in or visit Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada.
But that shouldn’t be considered terribly bad, as the options available for U.S. players continue to improve. Recent U.S. poker room cash-out reports indicate that Bovada and skins on the Winning Poker Network such as Black Chip Poker and Americas Cardroom continue to process withdrawal requests expeditiously.
Another option is upstart Full Flush Poker on the Equity Poker Network. The action at Full Flush has picked up considerably since launching for real money in early November. While the traffic at this moment is still low during off peak hours, our gut feeling says this network will have a top 5 position in the US market later this year. Continue reading in our Full Flush Poker review here.
While the state-by-state regulation format stalls a bit this year, players are likely to continue flocking to the sites that offer the best value and reliability. U.S. players are encouraged to take a look at those options to determine which of them best suits their online poker needs. There are plenty to choose from that offer excellent deposit bonuses and other perks, leaving no reason why U.S. players should be sitting on the rail in 2014.