Previous bills to introduce regulated internet poker at the Federal level in Congress have failed. This has sparked individual states to take their own initiatives in introducing their own legislation and already Nevada has poker sites going live with online poker. But those markets are too small, especially if there are too many entrants vying for the same players.
It is expected that legislation to allow online poker gambling in the United States will be introduced in Congress some time soon. Congressmen Peter King, a Republican, and Joe Barton, a Democrat, will each introduce bills, according to sources.
The reality is that intrastate poker (playing poker online only with other players from within the same state) does not represent the same value as opening up the borders to allow players from other states to join in the software. One argument is that interstate poker would create the necessary liquidity to ensure a successful poker room and in the process give give casinos a larger market than the current few states which allow it, like New Jersey and Nevada.
The bills will likely face opposition by state legislatures and lottery officials. If passed, the legislation would allow the federal government to preempt states like Nevada and New Jersey that are moving ahead with their own laws and accelerate efforts in states like California and Illinois that are considering such legislation.
The bills would allow individual states to opt out of federal online poker requirements.
It is estimated that online poker would generate $10 billion in added revenues by 2017 if allowed by federal statute, according to the American Gaming Association.