For almost an entire year now, ever since Black Friday, the entire gaming industry has been waiting with bated breath to see if online poker will ever be officially legalised in the U.S. Indeed, it’s difficult to even comprehend how many articles have been written about the issue, how many hours have been spent discussing legal technicalities and how much effort has been spent by lobbyists and state and federal legislators trying to get some sort of bill to pass that would regulate and licence online poker. Strange how in the most advanced country in the world, this would be such a contentious issue, especially when it seems like online poker is legal in so many other Western countries! If legislation is eventually passed in favour of online poker, however, one then begins to ponder whether the next logical step would be to allow all forms of gaming online, such as casino games.
Will the Big Operators Push the Envelope?
All online gaming operators will admit that the “real money” for them in the industry is not made via offering an online poker product, but rather via online casino games. Many of these companies have seen tremendous success via marketing their online casino games to eager gamblers in the UK, continental Europe, and other Commonwealth jurisdictions like Australia and Canada. Though surely they’d be thrilled to have the U.S. online gaming market open to them in any fashion, no matter how small, when the door finally opens for poker you have to wonder if the operators will then begin lobbying to be allowed to offer casino games online to U.S. players.
After all, as almost anyone would tell you, Americans who play poker in land-based casinos often visit slot machines and table games such as blackjack, roulette, and baccarat. It stands to reason then that these same people, if given the chance to begin playing poker online, would also give online casino games a shot too – and believe you me, gaming operators would be standing by ready to offer table games and online slots to Americans!
In the meantime, we continue to wait for the green light from Uncle Sam…