Mike Best of Colorado discusses the latest online poker news
Colorado’s Mike Best covers sports betting news and the legal adoption of online gambling platforms by various states. In the article below, Mike Best discusses recent developments in online poker.
Following the 2018 repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Betting Act (PASPA), Mike Best of Colorado explains that state governments have been allowed to create and pass their own laws regarding online gambling and in casinos. Since then, several states across the country have implemented online poker in one form or another, resulting in a massive increase in betting platforms and technologies.
In this overview, Mike Best from Colorado examines the ever-changing legal status of online poker in the United States and explains how the industry is changing rapidly. These updates are subject to change in the coming months, however, as more states introduce laws allowing online gambling. Check back for more updates.
Mike Best on the current legal status in the United States
Mike Wargin reports that 2018 marked a major shift for the gambling industry after the United States Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Betting Act. Under previous law, the federal government ruled that states could not license gambling establishments within their borders, however, the nation’s highest court ruled that the law interfered with the rights of State.
Since then, many states have introduced and passed laws allowing gambling online and in legal casinos. To date, online poker is legal in five states:
- Nevada – Legalized since 2013 under special allowances
- Delaware – Legalized since 2013 under special allocations with Nevada and New Jersey
- New Jersey – Legalized since 2013 under special allocations with Nevada and New Jersey
- Pennsylvania – First legalization in 2017
- Michigan – First legalization in 2020
Additionally, Mike Best of Colorado claims that West Virginia currently has the framework in place to allow legal online poker, and that Connecticut and Illinois also appear poised to legalize gambling. Several other states have legalized betting sports online, but have not yet introduced legalized online poker.
Growing infrastructure for online poker in legalized states
Mike Best from Colorado explains that the growth of online poker has been exponential since it was legalized. In Nevada, the first state to legalize online poker, the number of players and the amount of money wagered have both increased year on year.
Although the exact numbers are not known, it is well known that the industry has grown rapidly over the years. Since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down many casinos, players have turned to the internet to get their fix, and in Delaware alone, online poker sites have seen revenue increase by up to 45.7% . This growth has certainly been replicated throughout the industry.
Mike Wargin says that although the pandemic is coming to an end, this growth is expected to continue as more states legalize online poker and the game becomes more mainstream. To meet the demand, many online betting platforms have appeared to fill the market:
1. New Jersey:
- PartyPoker NJ
- WSOP NJ
- 888 NJ Poker
- PokerStars New Jersey
- WSOP SA
- BetMGM Poker*
* BetMGM has not currently launched an online poker platform in Nevada, but its parent company, Entain, recently received a three-year online poker license, indicating that the site will soon be launching in Nevada.
- PokerStars PA
- BetMGM Poker
- Borgata Poker
- WSOP Pennsylvania
As you can see, Mike Best from Colorado notes that the offerings are largely governed by five main players: PokerStars, WSOP, BetMGM, 888 Poker and Borgata. However, as the industry continues to grow, it is likely that other top casino brands, such as Caesars and BetOnline, will also join the US market.
The industry still faces challenges
Mike Wargin points out that despite its unprecedented growth over the past few years, the online poker industry still faces significant challenges, including from the law. In Hawaii and Utah, online gambling is expressly illegal under state law. Additionally, the federal government still imposes restrictions that limit players’ access to online gambling platforms.
Under the current Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), the federal government has the power to limit card payments to gambling sites. Mike Best of Colorado explains that this means players have to find other ways to fund their accounts. To circumvent the restrictions, many players instead opt to pay with e-wallets that bypass the restrictions.
It’s unclear if federal lawmakers will eventually change the restrictions, though they appear to run counter to state rights to pass legislation regarding online gambling. For now, players will have to follow federal laws and find alternative payment methods to circumvent the regulations.
Mike Best from Colorado explains that the online poker industry is currently in a state of flux as states across the country introduce their own gambling laws. To date, online poker is legal in five states and many more are likely to follow suit in the near future. The industry has grown rapidly in recent years, but it still faces significant challenges from the federal government and state legislatures.