State of legalized poker in the US

Since “Black Friday” Internet based poker sites have been legalized in 3 states. Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware all had the foresight to see that getting in early would give them a head start in building a player base and meet the demand for legalized US online poker. It seemed logical that other states would follow with similar legislation and that all states could benefit from “shared” player pools. So why are we moving at a snails pace to finally bring legal online poker in the US?

Currently every state in the US (Utah and Hawaii aside) allows some form of gambling. Nearly all of the games offered are strictly games of chance. Scratch tickets, bingo, and Powerball type lotteries require no skill and rely on “the luck of the draw” to win. Everyone has, in theory, the same chance of winning. Poker however, is a skill based game. There is certainly some luck involved, but a skilled player will have a greater win rate over the long term. There is a natural “variance” in poker that is unavoidable no matter what the players’ skill. This basically means that the best players will lose sometimes just as the worst player will win. Skilled players will have a bankroll that can absorb the losses that a full time player will undoubtedly experience from time to time.

The question is why? Currently 11 states are giving online poker a look as a potential revenue stream in these days dwindling tax revenues and skyrocketing costs. There are no states that are scheduled to open their own poker rooms, but the ideas have been advanced.
Sen. Ray Lesniak (NJ) has the foresight to see that the greatest market is outside the US borders. He is lobbying to allow foreign players to join the states Atlantic City based sites. This would prove brilliant as the revenues would be collected from foreign players and invested back in to the State of New Jersey. These revenues would be especially valuable as foreign player do not use any of the states resources (police, fire, social programs, schools, etc.) yet they will still be forced to pay into the system.

Oddly enough, the biggest opponent to Legal Online Poker is Billionaire ginger Sheldon Adelson. Apparently the Casino Tycoon’s hypocrisy knows no bounds as he has amassed a 40 Billion Dollar fortune from his various hotels and casinos. It baffles the mind that a man that owns several casinos has the audacity to publicly denounce expanded gaming, unless of course, he’s getting a cut. 40 Billion Only goes so far these days. I guess our only option is to grind it out on sites like Blackchip.