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New York and California Closer

March 5, 2017 Category :Legal Off

Several states in the US have been pushing to legalize online poker for years back. Currently it seems that New York and California are the closest to achieve this feat. New York Senate Gaming Committee voted unanimously in favor of online poker bill proposed by Senator John Bonacic, while one of the key men in the Assembly, Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow has recently stated that there are strong chances of New York legalizing online poker n 2017. Meanwhile in California another Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer and Assemblyman Adam Gray are pushing this year’s online poker bill.

Pretlow Making Way for the New Law in New York

The first attempts to legalize online poker in the State of New York date back to 2013 when the first proposals were made in the Senate. However, these attempts had no results as at that time Assembly had another gambling issue on their agenda – legalizing non-tribal casinos. At that time Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow was working on the expansion of land-based casinos.

The following year Senator John Bonacic, Chair of the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee appears with a draft bill and pushes the initiative further, but again with no significant results. In the years to come Bonacic continued pushing further until 2016 when his bill passed the Senate Committee but the person who denied it the support in the Assembly was precisely Pretlow. The main reason for that was, as Pretlow explained is that he had doubts concerning arguments that online poker would be considered a game of skill and legalized as such.

The main aim of Bonacic’s bill S 3893 and consequently introduced bill A 5250 sponsored by Pretlow himself, is to legalize online poker as a game of skill in which case the process does not conflict the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. After a careful analysis of the procedures and operations of New Jersey and other states that allow online poker, Pretlow stands behind one of the bills and believes that by the end of 2017 New York could become the fourth state where online poker is legal.

California Plans to Boost Horse Racing Industry with the Revenue from Online Poker

California is continuing ten-year long battle to legalize online poker and last year Assemblyman Adam Grey came close as his bill passed the Appropriations Committee but failed at the Assembly. This month Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer joined Gray in the battle and they proposed a new bill under which the racetracks will not be eligible to compete for a license but they will receive an annual subsidy worth $60 million. Card rooms and tribal casinos will be entitled to apply for a license. Under the new law persons under 21 and outside state borders will not be allowed to play.

As both California and New York continue to make progress on legalizing online poker, check back here in our poker news section for updates regarding USA legal poker. Until the states figure out what they are doing and get the appropriate bills passed use any of the USA poker sites we list and recommend here on our website. All are highly reputable and offer a great online experience.

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UK Poker Player Jailed for Fraud

January 23, 2015 Category :Legal| Online Poker Off

Playing online poker should be fun and if you make a few bucks along the way then even better, but for Darren Woods of Healing, England, it was an activity that allowed him to accrue huge profits… by cheating.

Woods, 29, denied 13 fraud offences that took place between 2007 and 2012 but was found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court in South Yorkshire. He was jailed for 15 months but could face a further six years in prison if he doesn’t comply with a confiscation order that demands he pays back £1m (approximately $1.5m) within six months.

It is thought he “won” considerably more than the amount he is being forced to pay back, with some of the money being used via the online poker site to recompense players it is proved he cheated. Woods has assets worth more than £1.4m and it is thought the vast majority of this fortune, equivalent to more than $2m, was obtained by fraudulent online poker activities.

Woods, whose father also admitted to money laundering charges, “rigged” online poker games by fraudulently playing as multiple players at the same time. Effectively he was colluding with himself in order to cheat other players at the table whilst also accumulating commissions and cashbacks from the poker sites themselves.

He used private online networks to disguise his multiple identities and the judge said, “In individual games, other people playing against you stood to lose money because the odds had been rigged in your favour by the creation of multiple identities which were undisclosed to other players. Cheating undermines confidence in the recreational gambling industry.”

Woods was declared bankrupt in 2006 but bounced back to win $213,000 in a World Series of Poker game in Las Vegas in 2011 but rather than continuing to play fairly he thought he had found a way to scam other online players without being caught.

However, both the authorities and the online poker sites are well aware of the risk of such activities and have various methods of combatting them, including algorithms that spot unusual playing patterns and investigations into suspicious poker accounts.

Woods’ father was given a six month suspended prison sentence and will be forced to pay back around £19,000 he is thought to have personally gained from the money laundering.

PokerStars Pushing New Jersey bid with potential $10 million live poker room

October 5, 2013 Category :Legal Off

We spoke last week about the potential passing of New Jersey to be granted a license to legally offer online poker to their residents. This week it has come to our attention that PokerStars are doing all they can to sweeten the deal with their proposed move to build a $10 million poker room in Atlantic City.

The deal for New Jersey to be granted their license is looking increasingly likely and rumours around the industry suggest that a positive decision will be made as early as the end of November. This news has prompted PokerStars – the world’s largest online poker room – to spring into action and be one of the first to open their doors to the public and provide USA legal poker.

The company have been trying to invest in a number of properties over the years to create their first ‘brick and mortar’ casino, but have been unsuccessful in their plight. Originally it was thought that they would be pairing up with some of the bigger players in Nevada, but the crash of the industry seemed to have halted any potential plans.

Since then they have tried many avenues with one being that of setting up on their own, however states have been reluctant to allow this. This has meant that it will be more than likely they team up with an existing resort, rumoured to be Resorts Casino Hotel.

This will likely be excellent news not only for the likes of Atlantic City, but also for the poker industry as a whole. It’s been widely recognised that PokerStars have been the leading light within online poker for over a decade now and pretty much everything that they seem to touch results in a positive outcome.

There’s little doubt that the Resorts Casino Hotel will be desperate to get this partnership agreed and finalised as they look to bring in some much needed income into the state, and more importantly, Atlantic City. Equally though, PokerStars will be just as desperate to get this agreement sealed as their what seems like never ending plight of finding a land based poker room, might just be coming to an end.

The bigger picture is probably outside this story though and much more in line with if New Jersey gets granted a license. A successful outcome of their application could potentially be massive with states queuing up to get in on a piece of the action. This decision has the potential to be the forthcoming of a new start for the poker industry, both online and off line.

In the meantime you can use any of our USA poker sites online and stay primed for when you can log in and play online at a state regulated online poker room.


Latest in Legal Poker News

September 26, 2013 Category :Legal Off

New Jersey has emerged as the latest state to take the next step in legalising the use of online gambling within its parameters. “At least one” of its licenses are set to be deputised by December which looks likely to leave the door open for other licensed establishments to jump aboard and start promoting online.

The state has seen a massive decline in people into Atlantic City but this move is hoped that these numbers will flourish once again. The casinos have all been heavily linked with mergers of existing poker rooms in an effort to speed up the process which, by 2014 at least, should start reaping the benefits and again thrive within the gambling industry.

This success of New Jersey’s case to legalise online gambling within the state will likely be watched very closely by a number of states looking at taking the same direction. Maryland is one state that’s already declared an interest in the legalisation process and they are reported as to be monitoring the situation.

Similarly to New Jersey, Maryland have a vested interest in gambling with the likes of MGM and Penn National Gaming both fighting it out to get licensing for a new casino in the state. But governors are weary of diving in too fast and it appears that, from an interview with Maryland’s Gaming Chief, Stephen Martino they will be learning from the route that other states have taken before anything is finalised.

A way in which states such as New Jersey and Maryland will be looking for licensing could come about in the form of a partnership with the already accepted, Nevada. The Silver State has been regulated for online gambling and poker since 2011 and was granted permission to form partnerships with other states. Obviously this will have an effect on the revenue Nevada currently generates from online gambling, but the increased player pool with another state, whoever that might be, will obviously increase.

Unfortunately for Nevada, the player numbers for online poker haven’t been as large as they would have hoped whilst now running into their third year of licensing. But that being said, there have been just one firm – Station Casinos – who have launched an online poker room, with more rumoured to be setting up in the very near future.

The next few months could well be crucial for the future of USA legal poker in the US, not just for New Jersey, but for the nation. Many, such as Maryland, will be watching to see how this submission goes before launching one of their own. A negative result for New Jersey might discourage a lot of states but on the flip side, a positive outcome could open the floodgates for online poker to get back to powerhouse it once was.

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USA Legal Poker Nationwide – Fact or Pipedream

June 14, 2013 Category :Legal Off

Recent legalization in Nevada and efforts in New Jersey and Delaware have initiated talk as to when USA legal poker will be regulated. In our challenging times alternatives for revenue at the state level seem to breed the same thinking with our representatives in Washington. Additionally, as corporations continue to search for revenue generation you have to think that sooner or later the same thing will need to be done at the national level though never seen before. There seems to be too much money in play for Congress to walk away from online poker but considering they are having such a difficult time deciding what needs to be cut from the current expenditures how do we think that it will ever come up for any type of discussion? Consider the fact that they cannot decide what to do with the current budget so how can we think that they can pass a bill allowing USA Legal Poker – DOUBTFUL – on catching up with corporations as well as understanding new sources of revenue.

A recent Reuters article (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/31/net-us-gambling-congress-idUSBRE94U19020130531) tried to explain the potential for the windfall from such a legislative effort but do you really think that  they could all come together to make such a decision – again, doubt it. Revenue that is expected from such a program as the legalization of online poker is not enough for them to consider let alone justify the expense of any lobbyists supporting the coffers of their reelection programs (when Nevada went live with their online poker program they depended on “word of mouth” with no advertising let alone congressional lobbying).

Believe us when we tell you, your best site for fun with online poker is with us here at USA Legal Poker. Stick with us at USA Legal Poker for the most professional sites available to you as well as insight into current developments.


Play Legal Poker in Nevada

May 28, 2013 Category :Legal Off

The state of Nevada (always a gambling pioneer) is the first state to officially pass and regulate online poker within the states borders. We applaud Nevada on their bold and well overdue decision and actions to move USA legal poker forward in the right direction. With Nevada leading the way more states will shortly join and offer fully regulated online poker.

Ultimate Poker is open for business in Nevada and you can play online at this 100% legal and fully regulated poker site. The success and initial response has been great at Ultimate Bet as they surpassed 1 million hands being dealt in just two weeks. You have to be a resident of Nevada to play at Ultimate Bet, but other states are in the process of opening online poker sites as well.

Delaware and New Jersey are the closest to opening online poker sites in their respective states and others have legislation already drawn up and on its way through the state house and senate to be voted on. By the end of 2013 we expect that at least 2 other states will have options for their residents to play poker online.

A major advantage to playing at a state regulated poker site is the ease of making deposits. Making deposits is the major struggle of playing online poker offshore. Many offshore poker sites struggle with getting USA credit cards approved and withdraws can be pricey.

If you live outside of Nevada check back here in our news section regularly as we will always list the states that open new legal online sites. You can also play at any of the USA legal poker sites that are licensed offshore. Some states may be slow to pass legislation but you can continue to play at the best online poker sites that continue to accept USA players.

Good luck at the tables and may the cards treat you well. Remember to check back often for newly added poker sites operating within state borders.

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Pennsylvania Joining the Online Poker Boom?

February 9, 2013 Category :Legal Off

Pennsylvania may be the next state to introducing legal online poker at the state level. Gaming in Pennsylvania has become a major attraction and revenue generator for the state and is actually the second most lucrative market when it comes to gaming. So why not add online poker to the menu?

Representative Tina Davis has announced she will introduce a bill to allow online poker in the state as well some online casino games. The current gaming regulators would oversee the online portion of the business of the tax revenue generated would go to state lottery fund and property tax relief fund.

It will not be cheap to start an online poker site or casino in Pennsylvania with proposed licenses costing a whooping $16.7 million. Even with the high price tag undoubtedly the licenses will go quickly especially with gaming giant Penn National Gaing being located in the state.

Pennsylvania, once one of the slower states to allow such “taboo” as gambling has embraced it heavily in recent years once they realized how much of revenue generator gaming provided. Rather than watching their residents go across borders to New Jersey and West Virginia spending billions, they now have several land based casinos within their borders as well as off track wagering for horse racing.

This is another state we hope will continue to push USA legal poker to full regulation and hopefully within this year online poker players can once again log in to the enjoy one of their favorite pastimes. Legislation is moving slowly in a few states but it is just a matter of time before it comes to fruition.


Judge Says Poker is Legal

August 31, 2012 Category :Legal Off

In a landmark decision by a federal judge ruled that poker is a game of skill and should not be classified into the same category as sports betting or other casino games like slots and roulette. This saved a Staten Island man from a 10 year prison sentence for running a back door poker parlour.

The judge stated by poker players relying on their ability to bluff, change wagers and count cards give them an edge that you cannot gain in other casino games. During the trial the accused called to the stand statisticians, professional poker players and an economist. The judge ruled that a person can play poker and make a living doing so. Unlike betting on sports or playing slots, over the long term a person can make money playing poker unlike other games where in the long run the player will eventually lose.

This is key to getting the United States to wake up and pass legislation that legalizes poker. Many states already have legislation being passed that will allow not only land based poker but online poker as well. Eventually a federal law will be passed regulating and legalizing online poker and decisions like this will help keep the ball rolling and hopefully speed up the pace of getting legislation approved.