This week ended with several news stories affecting U.S. online poker players. The biggest news was that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that his online poker bill was dead. This means that the fight for online poker regulation will now head to the states. Several states are expected to debate online poker and other forms of internet gambling during their next legislative session. The first state to discuss this will be New Jersey. The debate will start as soon as tomorrow in the New Jersey State Assembly.
Online Poker Rooms Close
RPM Poker was a member of the Merge Gaming Network that closed this week. This came without any notice. The U.S. facing online poker room merged its player base into online poker rooms operated by Jazette Enterprises upon the request of players.
The IGT Poker Network closed this week as well. IGT provided players, affiliates and site operators with three month’s notice. IGT blamed the demise of the network on the regulatory framework in Europe and online gaming laws in other countries that restricted access to their market. IGT paid about $115 million for the poker network in 2011. The network’s software is expected to appear in the Nevada online poker market once it launches.
California Online Poker Coming?
California’s Senate is expected to debate online poker again in the next few weeks. The bill is expected to be nearly identical to SB 1463. This bill would regulate and legalize online poker only, but would leave the door open for the expansion of other forms of online gambling after two years.
Two-Thirds of Potential Online Poker Players Lack Trust
Online Poker Report published a survey of 1500 people and asked them who they would trust to operate online poker rooms in the Unites States. The survey provided five choices to respondents. Nearly 1000 of the 1500 survey takers decided that no online poker room, whether managed by Zynga, PokerStars,state lotteries, or existing brick and mortar companies, would trust online poker. Some of this pessimism might be based on the Black Friday indictments that removed the four largest online poker rooms in the U.S. overnight.