Things, at last, are looking up for the U.S poker player. For many years now the issues of licensing, legality and morality have stood in the way of the beautiful game. Poker has been a cherished pastime for millions of Americans over the years, for many poker players it was and still is the highlight of the week, running round to your buddies place with a few cold beers and a fresh deck of cards for the game. It has been a way of socializing and a way to make friends. And then came the internet. Players flocked to the numerous new poker sites and the bigger operators saw amazing volume and offered unreal prize pools. Then came the big question, the question that stopped everyone in their tracks...is this legal? The powers that be claimed it wasn't as there was no way of proving these sites weren't "on the make". Land based casinos and poker rooms are heavily regulated and the argument was that the internet rooms are not. I'm pretty sure we are all aware of what's happened over the last few years, the huge operators that have closed their doors to the U.S players, operators closing down all together, arrests etc etc. However now we have a light at the end of the tunnel and it appears to be a green one.
Happier Days Ahead!
Something had to give, it's taken a while in coming but it does look like there's been a U-Turn. Operators and software providers are lining up in the State of Nevada to get their hands on a U.S license. Big gaming companies are already being granted them, and just last week the giant UK bookmaker William Hill was given theirs. Wynn Resorts are also in the mix after teaming up with Zynga who provide social poker solutions. Maybe the biggest partnership out there is that of Caesars Interactive and 888 Holdings, two huge companies that already have the thumbs up from Nevada. Back in 2006 Bwin did what was seen to be the right thing by not accepting U.S players, so with a clean record and a deal with MGM, they are sure to be one of the bigger players in this new competition. Bally Technologies look to have their license in the bag and it's these guys that are likely to be providing the software to a lot of the operators.
Two words, WILL and WON'T
This isn't the usual will or won't scenario. The licenses WILL be granted and it WON'T be long. Thanks to the pressure of groups such as the Poker Players' Alliance, a few opened eyed people with the power to change things and the love of the game from the U.S public it looks very much like big things are just around the corner. Whilst we all wait for this to happen (and it won't be long) there are still a fair amount of places the U.S player can play. Americas Card Room, Betonline Poker, Bovada and Bookmaker Poker to name but a few. So enjoy your game online and expect more news on this subject very soon.