An objective and highly readable piece on online poker was published by Forbes.com this week, entitled Are the Fed Cracking Down on Online Poker? by Nathan Vardi. The article examines the different poker groups currently operating in the US poker market and questions whether the Feds are willing to crack down completely on an industry that generates $30 billion in betting.
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The article examines the future of the US online poker industry where 2.5 million Americans play and shows how far the Feds have come in their attempts to block this pastime ahead of the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in June this year.
Vardi’s piece examines some of the top names in the industry, including Doyles Room, Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker. It also looks at groups such as Party Gaming, which was forced to leave the industry following the introduction of the UIGEA in 2006.
Those groups still serving US customers made it clear in the article that they felt that they were not breaking any law. Doyle Brunson is quoted as saying that he believes online poker is legal in the US. “I don’t have a problem with the Justice Department, and I hope they don’t have a problem with me,” he says in the article. “At my age I really don’t care if they are going to cast the gauntlet.”
Vardi questions why the US government has not cracked down yet on the big names in the US online poker industry. “One possible explanation is that prosecutors figure they are better off bluffing than having to show their hands before a jury,” he writes. Vardi quotes former head of NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement, Frank Catania as saying: “The federal government is not going to take any action against them because they would stand a chance of losing it.”
Brunson sums up the situation by being quoted at the end of the article: “The poker industry as a whole is ready to have a fight.”