Michael Kaplan, a contributing editor for cigar aficionado online magazine, wrote an interesting piece concerning the online poker industry a short time ago, but many of the points made in the article are well worth revisiting as they remain highly relevant today.
In Kaplan’s article, “Gambling in the Gray,” Kaplan discusses much of the up and down and often tumultuous history of the US online poker environment. Kaplan concludes with an assertion held by many industry experts that “the unregulated world of online poker may have to go legit or go bust.”
Kaplan acknowledges that the process isn’t as easy as it appears and though the many poker entities would support a regulated online environment in the US, issues like tax costs, competition from major US casinos just to name a few continue to complicate matters.
In Kaplan’s article, he cites as a reference one of the most knowledgeable gaming industry experts I. Nelson Rose. I. Nelson Rose is a California-based attorney who specializes in gambling issues and always calls things not just as he sees them, but truly as they are.
On the matter of the online poker environment in the United States, I. Nelson Rose has consulted with the Department of Justice on this matter, and came to the conclusion that whoever owns the sites may not be breaking American laws.
As quoted from Michael Kaplan’s “Gambling in the Gray,” I. Nelson Rose said, “We have never seen a case on Internet poker go to trial…You need a good law to make the arrest and you need the defendants to be in the United States. The Wire Act is not a good law to arrest these guys on and the Feds are not sure they can extradite. The Feds can’t guarantee that they will win, and if they lose the case, then they lose their intimidation factor.”
Kaplan also referenced I. Nelson Rose regarding the question that everyone truly wants answered, that being when and how will the regulation in the United States go down?
I. Nelson Rose as referenced in Kaplan’s article, believes that it will come down to financial need. “The federal government can print more money, but the individual states cannot and they suffer as a result,” says Rose. “We voted on legalizing marijuana. Who cares about Internet poker? Gambling is seen as a painless tax, and as soon as one state legalizes online poker, the others will fall in line.”
In regards to current push by a number of individual states to regulate gambling, I. Nelson Rose had this to say as referenced in Kaplan’s article, “Florida is desperate, and the Tea Party crazies there don’t necessarily mind people gambling at home,” he says. “It can happen in the coming year.”
We always love to give credit where credit is due and Michael Kaplan’s article “Gambling in the Gray” is an excellent read.
Furthermore, if you are looking for a consistently knowledgeable and accurate voice on the gaming industry we strongly advise you to check out I. Nelson Rose’s blog Gambling and the Law.