Differing Opinions over the Future of US Online Poker Legislation
Towards the end of last week two of the leading members of the gaming community gave very different opinions over the future of legislation that would allow legal online poker in the US. I. Nelson Rose, one of America’s top gaming lawyers and Gary Loveman, CEO of Caesars Entertainment both shared their opinions with the gaming community.
Rose was talking at a two day conference on online gambling held at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas. Rose said that he does not expect an online poker bill to be passed by the U.S. Congress “anytime soon” despite the intense pressure from players and gaming companies. Rose is pessimistic about the legislation as the current Congress has shown that they are not capable of coming to an agreement on any significant legislation. However, he did say that New Jersey, Iowa, California, Florida, Massachusetts and Nevada have the potential to pass intrastate poker legislation. Nevertheless he expects that most gaming companies would prefer federal legislation so as to ensure uniform laws across the country.
Loveman on the other hand had a more optimistic view. He thinks that his company needs between twelve to fourteen months to set up an online poker service for U.S. customers. He believes that Congress will pass legislation as there is a “sense of inevitability that this ought to be something people should do and that we ought to clean up the regulatory and policing environment for it and that’s what we’re seeking”.
Loveman believes $5 billion is a conservative estimate of the yearly revenues legalised poker could bring in. Early this year Caesars Entertainment and 888 Holdings PLC signed an agreement to provide an online “World Series of Poker” website to players outside of America. Should legislation be passed in the US then they will very quickly be ready to start serving American players.