There has been little to no movement regarding the regulation of online poker under the Trump administration and that doesn’t seem likely to change however it seems highly unlikely that a pro business president would wish to inflict harm on the fledgling regulated US industry by imposing a ban on all online gambling. The fact is that New Jersey revenues are doing well with tax contributions pouring in and on top of that the introduction of online gaming forces existing casinos to innovate, hire and up their game. While it’s clear that a Federal ban simply wouldn’t work, it’s also becoming clear that it’s not required and all signs point towards a ongoing state by state push.
State Vs Federal Government
The ongoing online gambling interstate battle continues and the US Justice Department are attempting to redefine the 1961 Wire Act so that it bans all forms of gambling across state lines. Their first attempt has been shot down in New Hampshire and while it doesn’t change things for regulated US poker at all in the short term as geolocation software is used by all places to play, it does affect US lotteries and should this law pass then it means vendors cannot sell across state lines. The attempt to bundle lotteries in with sports betting and allowing the same Wire Act rules to apply in this day and age are seen to be hugely regressive for the industry as a whole, and although the first shot was blocked, the Justice Dept will no doubt appeal.
Should the DoJ get their way then all forms of gambling across any state lines will be illegal, making interstate poker so much more difficult to achieve down the completely regulated path, and those great poker rooms that are regulated elsewhere will thrive, just as they have been for the last 15 years or more.
Does Bitcoin Negate the Need for Regulation?
With the introduction of bitcoin to online poker in recent years it begs the question is any regulation really needed. Bitcoin negates the need to use a bank, therefore sidestepping much of the anti poker regulation, making it simple for real money online poker players to deposit and play. With blockchain tech, the actual poker platforms could even self regulate and make hands history or non personal info easier for all players to see, putting politics to one side and letting the cards do the talking.