Why The Quandary Regarding US Poker?
Ever heard the date April 15th 2011 mentioned in relation to US poker? Well, it was a sad day for online poker players, especially those who did not just play for fun but for the money element. After months and years of making a living off online gambling, avid poker players woke up to the devastating news that the prevailing poker law had caught up with their favorite online poker hosts. As such, Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker, as well as Cereus, poker sites that had become home to many online poker enthusiasts were no longer going to operate. In fact, only later were those online gambling sites open for operations outside the US. The fateful day became known unanimously amidst the poker fraternity as Black Friday.
Anyone who has had a whiff of how the atmosphere was like during that time when a ban was suddenly put on what were then the biggest poker sites in the US, cannot help but question the reliability of online poker sites. However, it is brightening to know that within a week’s time, the online poker players who had deposits with the poker sites were able to withdraw their money, and in slightly more than a year, the sites were able to resume operations.
What Has Changed Since Black Friday?
Evidently, the poker traffic online is testament to the fact that the online gambling environment is very different now from what it was back in the day when vibrant online poker sites were brought down by government without prior notice. At the time, major players in the poker arena assumed that the law that was passed in 2006 – UIGEA – was for others in the cyberspace but not them. As such, they kept reaping heavily as they had already been doing since 2003 when interest in online poker began to significantly shoot up. In addition, the online poker sites had become a safe haven for money launderers, who saw an avenue to sanitize their ill gotten money.
Today, however, every online poker site is aware of the keen monitoring that the US government does, of every site or institution that receives money from the public. Even serious poker players, particularly those looking to win big monies from online poker sites, are able to see the transparency with which the online poker sites operate today. For example, it is always clear what the stakes are at the World Series of Poker. Anyone can see what the prizes are at every stage, and even the size of every significant win. Hence, as far as exchange of money and the revenues from the online poker sites is concerned, not much can be concealed, least of all, from the country’s gambling regulating body.
What to Check
If you want to log onto an online poker site that is hosted outside the US and is subject to the laws of another jurisdiction, it is your choice. Otherwise, for a poker site hosted in the US, you need to confirm that the online gambling site is registered and licensed accordingly. Often such a site will provide basic details regarding its existence, including the license under which it is operating.
In addition, anyone would expect a credible online poker site to proudly mention poker players who have won big prizes from their site over time, and also the sizeable prizes that site patrons have taken home over time.
Once you have established that the poker site is operating legally and that it is proud of the manner it operates, you can be sure you stand a fair chance to win cash prizes, and that the site is not cheating the exchequer of tax revenues.