The (Internet Poker) World is on Fire

Posted on: April 18, 2011

Wow, can’t a girl take a weekend off from blogging without the whole world collapsing?! Apparently not. As of Friday, BIG NEWS: the government has finally stepped in and joined the discussion on Internet Poker. If “joined the discussion” actually means taking over the whole conversation then I guess that’s what they have done. The owners of PokerStars, Full Tilt and Absolute Poker were charged on Friday with bank fraud, illegal gambling offenses and money laundering. All of the sites were shut down or seized by the government and if you try to log in to these sites you will see the following image:

Following this shutdown, the chips started falling. Wynn announced they were backing out of their deal with PokerStars. Caesars Entertainment and Station Casinos also had pending deals with online poker operators, however Station’s deal hinged on the ability for Full Tilt to be licensed, which doesn’t look to be happening anytime soon. The casino companies and poker companies weren’t the only ones affected. Politicians who received campaign contributions from PokerStars announced plans to return the money. Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, a democrat from Las Vegas, received $10,000 from PokerStars and said he intended to give the money back. Brian Sandoval and Rory Reid also received $10,000 donations from PokerStars claimed the money was returned last week.

In any case, this is shaping up to be a very interesting situation. While the partnerships between the casinos and internet poker companies mostly hinged on the ability for those companies to be licensed, they also signaled a certain confidence that the government would allow states to work through the loopholes of UIGEA. Clearly that is not the case. However, I also don’t think this is the end of the line for internet poker. In fact, it is more likely a path towards full legalization and legislation. The United States Government cannot turn a blind eye to internet poker forever, but they also could not continue to allow the companies to operate under the guise of legality. I will be very interested to see how the legislation will play out, and if there is federal legislation, will the existing poker companies overseas be licensable in the US? Originally, AB258 would not have excluded those companies from being licensed, however, new federal legislation may have something else to say about it. And that would not bode well for Caesars and Station casinos who are still in dealings with online poker companies. Stay tuned, because I’m sure this is a topic that will dominate the news and this blog for weeks to come.


2 Responses to "The (Internet Poker) World is on Fire"

I just read today that PokerStars changed their domain name from to, they are also apologizing to their clients and stated that all registered users will receive a message on how they can log on the new domain, just give them a few hours because the customer support mail is flooded with emails coming from the users.

Thanks for that update and thanks for commenting!

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This blog is devoted to the gaming industry news and information - keeping you up to date on the happenings in the gaming world. My personal expertise lies in event planning and entertainment in casinos.

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