Ultimate Poker launches in Nevada, USA

Yesterday saw Ultimate Poker launch online poker in Nevada, USA for the first time. As we all know, online poker has been very up in the air in the United States in recent years following the events of Black Friday and the two years of frozen accounts for US Full Tilt players, which has recently been announced as being handled by GCG to get US players their Full Tilt Refunds.

The new online poker site has had some good reviews since it’s launch and players in Nevada can visit ultimatepoker.com as long as they are over 21 years of age and are playing in Nevada, other players are able to register an account but aren’t allowed to play online until they arrive in Nevada.

Ultimate Poker comes to Nevada

If you have been keeping up with some of my recent posts you will know that I have a keen interest for online poker and especially like to keep up to date with what’s happening in the US. So far, 2013 looks to me as though it is going to be a good year for poker, with the launch of Ultimate Poker, “America’s first and only regulated online real money poker site.” and the fantastic news that those that had their full tilt accounts frozen are finally getting to hear some news on the handling of the funds in their accounts.

For those that are new to online poker or want to improve your game, visit the poker school at poker.gamble.co.uk for tips, strategies and odds.

Interstate Poker made legal by Nevada

News has today surfaced how Nevada have made interstate online poker legal, which if you have been keeping up with my latest posts, is quite a big step forward for online gambling in the USA. The bill was rushed through yesterday which allows states to form a pact together, allowing poker to be played legally across them.

An article from the Las Vegas Sun today reported how the bill was rushed forward on Thursday, labelled as an “emergency measure” for Gov.  Brian Sandoval to sign.

As you may know, I personally am all for online poker to be legalized in america, as it makes for healthier gambling habits and leads to less addiction i my opinion. It seems the aim of rushing through the bill was to beat New Jersey in signing their bill, which is to be done next week if reports are to be believed.

Online Poker in New Jersey

Towards the beginning of February, governor Chris Christie announced that he was going to pass a bill for online poker in New Jersey, as long as a few amendments were made to what had been submitted.

The announcement of multiple states hoping to pass an online gambling bill, making poker legal within those states has pleasantly shocked many after speaking to people on Twitter, as there have been quite a few failed attempts to get online poker up and running throughout 2011 and 2012 especially, although now it looks like it is all coming together.

So what do you think? Are you for or against the legalizing of online poker in the U.S?

Is Online Poker changing in the US?

Lately there have been a lot of news stories and events cropping up in the Poker world regarding Poker in the United States and the transition to online play, and also the opposite, with brick-and-mortar receiving a lot of attention. I have been keeping up with as much as I can on social media sites and through various news sources.

I have found this article which emphasizes that purchasing a casino in Atlantic City seems to be paving the way for online poker to make a comeback in the US . I can see why people are for and against poker being legalized online in the US, there is the view that doing so would reduce the amount of people that play in casino’s altogether, and add pressure to an already struggling casino industry in America. But then again there is the point that if it was legalized, there would be more brick and mortar games available to play, and could easily attract a new audience of people, perhaps those that don’t have access to a computer or the internet. Obviously if people were legally allowed to play poker online in the U.S then the government would receive tax on all money spent, so whilst the money going directly to Atlantic City could potentially decrease, the overall money the government receives would stay the same, if not increase.  Another benefit to legalizing poker online would be that people could have healthier gaming habits.. If somebody sits in a casino all day, and then moves to another the next day, there is virtually no way of tracking how much money they are spending, and therefore building up an addiction, whereas with online poker, there are possible ways of monitoring how much people are spending online, and then procedures could be put in place to stop them spending away their wages, and reduce the risk of people getting addicted.

Atlantic City Casino

Source: blog.nj.com

Brick and Mortar Poker to make a comeback

Not only this, but you get the social side of poker if you are playing online, whilst playing in brick and mortar casinos you do actually meet people face to face whilst you’re playing, you don’t always have time to stop and chat, but with online poker you do. Last weekend (Feb 19th/17th) I managed to play a few games online on Full Tilt and PartyPoker (an old favourite) and suddenly became aware of how friendly players are on there. I often find myself playing on tables where people talk constantly, and I get the impression that if the chat feature was taken away then the player numbers would drop significantly. How many times have you logged on to any online poker network and gone more than 10 minutes without seeing some form of interaction? I personally think it is a much better way to play poker than at a casino as you interact with people a lot more, and are able to concentrate more on your game play.

If Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey does sign a revamped version of the bill for online gaming, it could see a 10 year trial period for online gaming in NJ, which would definitely settle the argument for good, Brick-and-Mortar Poker, or Online Poker?

 

Schleswig Holstein to Join National Gaming Treaty, banning Online Poker in Germany

News has surfaced today that German State Schleswig Holstein (SH) is holding a vote to join the National Gaming Treaty, which the remaining 15 states in Germany are already part of, and if passed, the vote will ban Online Poker and Casino Gaming in Germany. There have been discussions on this for almost a year now since the new coalition came into power in June, a coalition that is known for being anti online gaming.

Online Poker in Germany

If the vote is passed, then it will mean the end of Online Poker in Germany, as SH would complete all states signing the treaty. The treaty does, however, permit online sports betting, but bans online poker and casino gaming. 

There will only be 20 sports betting licenses issued throughout Germany, and up to now, Schleswig Holstein has been able to issue as many licenses as it wants. In December 2012, Schleswig Holstein granted licenses to Ladbrokes, 888 Holdings, Betfair, bwin.party, and PokerStars, alongside 15 sports betting licenses. 

When the new coalition came into power in June 2012, people immediately started speculating that such a vote would come to light, and here it is. The coalition that came to power is known for being very ‘anti online gaming‘, and originally wanted to revoke all licenses and impose a complete ban, however this would have been illegal, so decided to allow the licenses that were already in place to remain. 

The European Gaming and Betting Association recently put forward a formal complaint to the European Commission, claiming that Germany’s treaty violates EU law. Because of this, many Online Gaming operators are continuing to offer their services to German residents, as they too, agree with the beliefs of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA). 
In March 2012, the EGBA gave German government two years to prove that their gambling laws abide with EU Regulations

The Schleswig Holstein parliament will hold a vote on the 23rd January to determine if the state should, or should not join the treaty, although it is widely thought that the vote is going to be passed. Should the vote be passed, then Schleswig-Holstein will join the other states on 7th March 2013.

If the government does win the vote, it is thought that the Treaty would breach EU Law. After the EU objected numerous times, the review period lapsed, without any ruling against SH’s decision. After the new coalition failed to block license applications due to law restrictions, SH committed to joining the remaining German states in the Interstate Treaty. Existing laws mean SH has to honor these agreements until the Interstate Treaty comes into force, and until this time, must continue to process license applications, there are currently 18 casino applications, and 24 sports betting applications pending.