Recent efforts to legalize online poker in US hits roadblocks

Written by Super User on . Posted in Poker Games

Since 2006, online poker sites have been banned from doing business within the borders of the United States. However, because the legislation is not clearly well-defined, many in the country are still able to play online, and three major poker sites have been targeted as a result. In April 2011, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and Poker Stars were all named in an indictment with charges of bank fraud, money laundering, and other illegal gambling offenses. In September, the Justice Department upped the charges against Full Tilt Poker by claiming they engaged in a $440 million Ponzi scheme.

The charges highlight the exact reason that several leading proponents of online poker see the need for Congress to step in and legalize online poker with a set of stringent regulatory guidelines that each site must follow.

The Poker Players Alliance and the American Gaming Association are two such organizations that have fought hard in recent years to pass legislation legalizing online gambling in the United States. Proponents argue that legalizing poker sites will stop illegal activities that Full Tilt, PokerStars and Absolute Poker have been accused of.

Several legislators have also been working to pass legalization of online poker sites as well, but with the recent accusations levied against three of the largest online poker sites, many have since hedged on their support.

Since legalization of online poker had previously been included in other larger pieces of legislation, the industry may now be looking towards individual states to allow online gambling, rather than at the federal level. Whatever the resulting actions will be, it may be many months yet before their dreams turn into reality.