Now that New Jersey has passed online gaming legislation, the idea of other states following suit has built up steam. One state we haven’t heard much about is Wisconsin, which is dominated by Native American land-based casinos. While various tribes throughout the country have expressed their interest in online gaming, those in Wisconsin have remained silent.
“State-by-state legislation in my opinion is not ideal,” said Steve Verrett, Wisconsin’s director for the Poker Players Alliance. “It will create small pockets of tournaments and little competition as you will only be able to play within your state or compact of multiple states. Will Wisconsin join a group like a Powerball lottery system? I don’t know and actually have little confidence in it. The best bet for Wisconsin and most other states outside of California, Nevada, and New Jersey is federal regulation. If federal regulation with an ‘opt out’ clause gets put into place as it has been discussed, I think Wisconsin is forward-thinking enough to be a part of that.”
Despite little movement on the online poker front in the state, Verrett encourages players to get proactive.
“Join the PPA, get on the mailing lists and use the tools that the PPA has in place to let decision-makers in your area know your opinion,” he said. “The PPA does a very good job of tracking opinions of state and federal decision-makers for your state and provides very simple one-click form letters to send to your senator or representative. If you are a poker player, you should keep pushing the issue. Don’t be a person that complains when decisions are made against us; voice your opinion before the decisions are made.”
For more information, you can reach Verrett at WI@theppa.org.
— Chad Holloway is Ante Up’s Wisconsin Ambassador. He’s also a Senior Writer for PokerNews.com and is a sponsored member of Team Blue Shark Optics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ChadAHolloway.