Many Poker players in the US and beyond remember that fateful day on 15 April 2011, “Black Friday” when the US Federal Government indicted three of the biggest online gambling companies, PokerStars, Absolute Poker and Full Tilt Poker, over charges of bribery, money laundering and miscoding transactions. A Grand Jury charged 11 defendants, including the founders of these sites, with violating gambling laws.
This crackdown, left poker devotees with two options: They could either get on their tuxedos and visit a visit a card room, or break the law and log register with a non-US site. The result was that many US online Poker players deserted US sites in droves, while some of the big companies pulled the plug on their operations. There was confusion about what the law was on online poker- as a game of skill rather than chance. But all that is changing now as confidence rebuilds and the prodigal poker players return.
On May 1, 2013, Nevada became the first US state to allow state residents of at least 21 years of age to play poker online for real money legally. The gambling company Ultimate Gaming opened its casino doors to the citizens of Nevada, offering them the chance to legally play virtual poker online for the first time in more than two years. This is just two months after state regulators passed a bill allowing Nevada citizens to play without the need for federal gambling legislation.
The site, called Ultimate Poker, is owned by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta. The brothers have a long history in the casino business, but they also own majority shares in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and have promoted the Ultimate Poker logo in UFC rings in an effort to attract players to the website. It dealt its first real money poker hand on Tuesday April 30, at 9:00 am. Maple syrup on your breakfast waffles with a full house? Antonio Esfandiari, the poker player who has more live poker tournament winnings to his credit than any other player in poker history, is the first poker pro on Ultimate Poker.
The site looks familiar to anyone who participated in the poker boom of the 2000s; only the account setup and login process have changed. Instead of just checking a box certifying they are older than 18, players will have to endure a lengthy account setup process involving a Social Security number and a Nevada address. Only those 21 or older will be allowed to play. C’est la vie. If that’s what it takes to play Poker online legally and safely in your home state, so be it.
Other online gambling companies, including 888- the Gibraltar-based company that hasn’t operated online casinos or poker rooms in the US since 2006 — will soon follow. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey were the states that took the first steps to legalize internet gambling, whereas before the law was fuzzy.
Obviously the sites are in competition with each other to attract as many players to them as possible, and the deals, bonuses and sweeteners should be investigated and assessed before you make your choice(s).
For example Bovada offers players an instant cash deposit bonus, in addition to the ability to redeem your player points for cash back into your account. It boasts a weekly $100,000 guaranteed.
BetOnline Poker Accepts All USA Players and offers a 25% Unlimited instant First Deposit Bonus on All Deposits. The US poker site accepts eChecks as well as a variety of other payments. The Bet Online software is 100% unique.
Sportsbetting Poker Accepts All USA Players and Offers a cash bonus of 25% up to $900 on all deposits. Sportsbetting Poker has one of the highest acceptance rates for US credit card deposits and the poker room features a full line-up of online tournaments including a weekly $50,000 guaranteed and a first rate VIP program.
Carbon Poker accepts all USA Players who will receive a 150% first deposit bonus up to $750, in addition to entry into Carbon ’s monthly $50K free-roll.
Sportsbook Poker accept Western Union and wire payments and you can get a 150% joining deposit bonus up to $750. This site, www.uspokersites.net provides not only US poker reviews but up to date legal pages including uspokersites new jersey.
In the coming months of 2013, the industry will be watching closely to see if poker players come flocking back from any newly acquired hobbies, computer games and illegal offshore gambling sites. My view? Poker is too good a game to wither and die: Online Poker will come back to the US and be stronger than ever. Now deal!