The repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) on Monday has caused ripples in the very fabric of online gambling. However, despite the tremendous implications the repeal may have hereafter, it was definitely not a chance event. The State of New Jersey has committed over $8 million in money to fight the legislation.
How does this affect the online poker industry then? Many have already gleefully predicted a time of unprecedented growth. After all, PokerStars and other operators have been actively scrambling for legal purchase, in the form of license, in the United States.
The Debate Echos Throughout Social Media
Saying that the first legal hurdle has been cleared is to some extent a stretch. Much legal ups and downs may follow now. Meanwhile, established authorities in the world of poker have been voicing their opinions on Twitter.
Phil Hellmuth took to Twitter to say that the legalization of sports betting with the repeal of PASPA had garnered a strong support from a number of established sports associations in the United States, including NBA, NFL, and MLB (which I think is not entirely true, because officially, these organizations are against the New Jersey’s legalization of sports betting, at least in court). How then, Hellmuth pursued, is it possible for sports betting to be legalized whereas the topic of online poker remains untouched. After all, poker takes immensely more skill to play than sports betting, he concluded.
Hellmuth’s Tweet was met with a mix of endorsement and people seeking to put salt in old wounds, such as his entanglement with Ultimate Bet. However, Hellmuth, to his credit, remained on track with the issue at hand.
Another player, DJ MacKinnon has been more direct in his approach to the matter. He directly questioned whether online poker can be “attached to every state’s betting bill.”
All the Poker’s Men
PokerStars ambassador Jason Somerville also joined the choir of online poker proponents. Somerville has been in favour of the changes to the PASPA act and welcomed the news in general. He also made clear that he will be following the topic with interest and see how much this would affect changes in online poker. Overall, Somerville remained upbeat, positive, and encouraging of the much needed and coveted changes other online poker players in theUnited States wish.
Kevin lacofano, a winner of the 2018 WSOP Circuit Main Event, has been encouraging players and fans alike to ask of their lawmakers to make a stronger case for online poker. In a statement, he tried to whip up grassroots support, asking people to phone and e-mail their representatives.
All of those suggestions are moderate, prescient and ultimately stemming from players and fans’ need and a deep desire for online poker to be a regulated affair in the United States. This is understandable and quite laudable. Everyone will benefit from a regulated online poker industry.
Of course, land-based casinos still have fears of their own, but bringing the game on a larger and more accessible scale will certainly help patch up ailing finances and add something extra. Not to mention that the droves of poker fans in America will be allowed to enjoy their favorite game from the comforts of their own homes.