Ask many of the old-school online players (and by old-school I mean pre 2004) where they got their start on the virtual felt and a lot of them are going to tell you the same thing. Party Poker. And while here in Australia we can still log on to Party Poker every day, it just hasn't been the same since that fateful September day in 2006 when they closed their online doors to the massive American poker market.
I mean, as much as we all love check-raising the Czechs, floating the Finns and rivering the Russians, online poker just isn't the same without our good friends the Americans at the $4.40 180 man SNG tables to point out every single mistake they are making, while offering to play 10/20NL HU4Rollz.
Ahhh, God Bless the USA indeed.
Well fear not fellow Party lovers, because news out of the United States House of Representatives this week seems to indicate that Party Poker may be the big winner in a planned reform of online poker legislation in the USA.
The US House Financial Services Committee has voted to pass Rep. Barney Frank's Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act by a nearly 2-1 margin. 38 Democrats and 7 Republicans voted in favour of the bill while 4 Democrats and 17 Republicans opposed it (while one couldn't make up his mind and voted present).
While still being a long way off a resolution, the passing of Frank's legislation is a small step forward for online poker players in the United States - and that's welcome news for all poker players.
Far from being all good news though, the Committee has agreed to 14 amendments, one of which stipulates that no online site who has broken current State or Federal gaming laws will be allowed to apply for a license. This could pose a problem for online sites such as Poker Stars and Full Tilt who have operated outside the current UIGEA legislation, although those sites would certainly be quick to appeal any decision to ban them from the lucrative US market.
One site who should welcome the Committee's decision is Party Poker who voluntarily stopped supplying their site to US customers four years ago. This could place them in pole position to re-enter the US online poker landscape, although major gaming corporations such as Harrahs are also known to be eager to enter the multi-billion dollar a year market.
As we come up to four years of legal manoeuvring and political lobbying, this decision gives hope that there might be good news in the future, although it may still be a long way from being fully resolved.
However nothing should be expected before the November mid-term elections and with the lustre of President Barack Obama widely considered to be wearing off, the Democrats are expected to be vulnerable in several House/Senate and Gubernotorial races across the country.
The fight continues.
No comments yet. Be the first to post one!
US House Financial Services Committee has voted to pass Rep. Barney Frank's Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection an
PokerNetwork is home to one of the most active poker forums online. With all the latest online poker news from both Australia and around the world, PokerNetwork is your home for the latest and greatest offers.