There is little doubt if any that the online poker business has grown by leaps and bounds over the years especially in the United States. However, as yet there are scant laws to regulate fiscal transactions resulting from play which is considered to be legal by some and illegal by others. As yet the online poker business stands in muddy waters and needs legitimacy to prosper. Although, the United States government has not come down hard upon sites hosting online poker matches, but it has given some trouble to companies dealing financially with online poker websites.
A bill was moved to Congress last year in a bid to legitimise and regulate the online cards game business (read poker) but the move failed to bring any results. In an effort to create legitimacy and in another bid to enter online poker arenas, both online poker websites and brick and mortar casinos are joining hands through mergers of one kind or the other.
One of the recent mergers that occurred in this respect was between Station Casinos which is a chain of casinos in Nevada and Full Tilt Poker which is an online web poker enterprise. Although, Station Casinos is not exactly a backwater in the casino business but nonetheless as yet it is a small guy trying to grow larger. The management of Station Casinos under the Fertita brothers has landed it quite a few accolades especially with the expansion and rejuvenation of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). On the other hand, Full Tilt Poker is the second largest online poker operation within the United States.
Given the nature of these developing affiliations it is highly safe to assume that there will be further concentrated efforts to legitimise online poker businesses and the fiscal transactions that come with them. It remains to be seen however, just as to how the question of legitimacy shall be answered both on the Congress floor and in the eyes of the people playing online.
In another similar poised move, the competition to that is Poker Stars has teamed up with Wynn Resorts in an effort to earn legitimacy for its ambiguous legal position. The merger is trying to expand its operations first within Nevada and then outside the state of Nevada. Both Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker have long held that online poker and its resulting financial transactions are not illegal in any given respect. However, most states across the United States are putting together mechanisms to regulate and hence legalise online poker in particular and online card games in general.
The new mergers on both the virtual and real side of the poker story mean that both camps understand and need each other well enough to lobby for legislation. Moreover, business operations on both sides will likely increase too as both the online and physical markets are merged together to create a larger pool of players.
Success however is still far away and until Congress does not ratify legislation dealing with online poker, there are little chances if any that the online poker businesses may succeed in expanding beyond Nevada’s state line.