One of the most discussed issues in all poker related blogs, articles, and forums has to do with the online poker gambling issue. Can you gamble online to make money? Is it against the law to gamble online if you have not said yes before?
The answer to the above question is almost certainly yes, at least if you are a representative of your poker playing club or an affiliate marketer for a poker site. Each of the major poker sites – Party Poker, Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker, etc – have been involved in legal battles with the United States government over their stance on online gambling.
In those cases the government hasoehibited certain types of poker sites from offering real money games to Americans. Party Poker has had the most trouble with the law because they view their poker as a game of skill in their guidelineolding that it is legal. On the other hand, are the other poker sites doing the same thing?
Some legal experts argue that the Wire Act refers only to sports betting and not gambling. While this is 20th century law, the government has never brought charges against a poker site because of that law. In addition, the 1961 Wire Act is only relevant to the internet gambling context as it did not relate to telephone gambling or the placement of bets by telephone.
The government has tried to claim that it is only targeting sportsbooks because of the wide publicity that poker became in the United States. While there is some legitimacy to that notion, the sensitivity of the poker rooms only adds to the difficulties for the government in a post-Sacco situation.
The government has tried to be careful in controlling poker sites on the internet. It did not seek charges against the poker sites themselves. Instead, it focused on the money transactions. Both transfers of money and gaming of pokerboya were treated under the law as “gambling”. Both of those interpretations are open to serious interpretation, which could lead to strained relationships between the United States and its largest trading partner.
The irony in all this is that the government has been very aggressive in fighting against poker sites for being illegal. It is interesting to note that they have not brought charges against the players or the operators of the poker sites. It is also unclear as to whether the large sums of money that Poker Stars and Party Poker were taking in from U.S. players has translated into millions of dollars in tax revenue for the governments of New Jersey and New York.
The idea of harmonizing the languages of governing bodies that try to implicate online gambling is a tricky and delicate art. The government of the United States has been very aggressive in regulating online gambling and similar activities. The concerns of the agencies of the government are relatively new andSlotgersallsunusuallytoreturn bountiespayout to winners.
The debate about incorporating the law into the toolbox of regulation is a problematic one. If the law stands, it is hard to litigate against it. It would be an interesting experiment, but for now, the scope of the law should not be expanded. The law should be confined to situations in which a player is attempting to take unfair advantage of the odds of a game being made to his or her favor. It should not be applied to audits, commissions, and reinsurance issues.