In the last issue of Ante Up, I mentioned the Peter King, R-N.Y., online gaming bill he introduced. Recently, Joe Barton, R-Texas, introduced a newer version of the bill (Internet Poker Freedom Act) he tried to get through Congress last year, which allows states to opt out by having the governor send a letter stating it does not want to be included in the law. In a recent interview, Barton said he believed the question was not if, but when his bill would be passed. He’s optimistic the time is now for legislation to be passed on the federal level. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada is working on another bill.
I was in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker and interviewed Erik Seidel and Greg Raymer. I asked them for their thoughts on Nevada legalizing online gaming and on a federal online poker bill that would allow the game to be legal in America. Seidel is not known for playing online and is pretty much a live cash-game and tournament player. When I asked him for his opinion on the recent Nevada law, he said he hasn’t bothered to get online because he mostly plays games other than no-limit hold’em, which is all that’s offered by Ultimate Poker. But he did not rule out the possibility of playing online in the future, should more games be introduced and more players get online.
Raymer, who is never at a loss for words, was more than happy to discuss the issue of getting King’s bill passed as soon as possible. Raymer works closely with Rich Muny, the vice president of player relations of the Poker Players Alliance, and spoke to me at length about the PPA efforts being put together and sponsored at the federal and state levels. Raymer said any poker player serious about getting online poker back in the United States and wants to take action, needs to sign up for the PPA’s daily action plan email initiative. This initiative sends daily emails on how anyone can spend just a few minutes a day contacting elected representatives to ask them to take action for online poker. The emails even provide the content to send. All that is required is a willing person to send it to their individual state and federal politicians. Anyone interested in this can go to the theppa.org/takeaction.
NEW JERSEY: As you read in my last column, Ultimate Poker was the first company to operate regulated online poker in Nevada. It recently struck a deal with Trump Taj Mahal Associates in Atlantic City. This will allow the company to run games online in New Jersey, just like it does in Nevada, once the regulatory approvals are done. Ultimate Poker is starting to make a big splash in the online world and could be on its way to setting the standard on how to navigate U.S. state online legislative laws.
The deal between PokerStars and the Atlantic Club Casino is dead, but on July 3, the Rational Group announced a new venture with the Resorts Casino Hotel to bring online gaming to the state. It didn’t take long for the owners of PokerStars to get back into the action in Atlantic City. Resorts Casino Hotel is under the management of the Mohegan Group, which also has the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut. Just like Ultimate Poker, PokerStars will be operating in the state as soon as it can get through all of the regulatory red tape.
— Email Joel Gatlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.