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We've put together an online poker timeline to help you sort everything out. Remember, even though we're talking about US online poker history, tons of international factors come into play.
So some of the highlights you'll see actually have nothing to do with the US - at least on the surface.
But as you read through the timeline, you'll see that everything is connected. While much of the online poker news of was promising, it also left a lot to be desired.
Although polls and surveys tend to indicate popular support for online gambling, moneyed self-interests have apparently found ways to buy support where it counts, namely in the US Congress.
As is often the case in politics, there's no guarantee the outcomes will have much to do with reason or fairness, despite both scholarly and law enforcement opinions siding with responsible adults having the freedom to make their own decisions about their entertainment.
That's why it's important to make your opinions known to those who will ultimately make the decisions.
Numbers like that should make other states sit up straight and listen to the possibilities for important tax revenues. Its provisions are comprehensive, covering everything from player age to all aspects of licensing.
It also does not explicitly prohibit interstate player pooling. Although US Senator Lindsey Graham grilled Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch concerning her positions on online gambling, she held her ground with the Senate Judiciary Committee, saying she most likely would not reverse the Justice Department's previous decision that the Wire Act isn't applicable to online casino games.
In more plus column news, Delaware and Nevada took steps to share poker player pools, while Republican Representative John Payne introduced bill HB to legalize online gambling in the Pennsylvania.
Payne's reasoning included both the sensibility of using regulation to make the online gambling experience of responsible adults as safe as possible, and the fact that state coffers would benefit significantly.
Not to be outdone, brick-and-mortar casino operator Sheldon Adelson apparently greased the right palms to have what's being called the "Restoring America's Wire Act" or RAWA bill positioned for a first hearing in March.
This bill would reverse the ruling of the Justice Department that created an opportunity for online legal betting in The hearing took place on March 26th.
Witnesses used in support of the bill used mostly outdated arguments that have been refuted numerous times by studies from academic institutions.
Witnesses used to oppose support for the bill emphasized state's rights and pointed out how states that have already passed legislation are regulating and monitoring online gambling very effectively, with the benefits over prohibition abundantly evident.
Future hearings will continue to explore the pros and cons. In humorous related news, anti-online gambling Senator Lindsey Graham admitted to having never sent email in all his life, causing many to wonder how someone with such lack of modern technology experience could be trusted to make sensible decisions about online gambling.
All in all, it's been an interesting year already for online poker, to say the least. Stay tuned to PokerSites. We want you to be the first to know when important decisions are handed down that could affect both your game and your freedom.
Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey fully embraced online poker for their citizens, even to the point of discussing and enacting agreements permitting interstate player pooling.
Yet resolutions in California failed, and New Jersey struggled with court interference with its sports betting initiatives. Even worse, legislation was introduced to the US Congress seeking to ban online gambling at the federal level.
In the meantime, sensible citizens registered their support for legalizing this form of adult entertainment, with poker and even law enforcement organizations publicly calling for sanity from lawmakers.
The Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism conducts a survey to investigate the impact of New Jersey's legal online gambling industry on their land-based casinos.
The consensus was that while interest in gambling online was growing, it didn't appear it would become a significant threat to brick-and-mortar operations.
Delaware's legal online gambling statistics on number of players and revenues fall below expectations, especially compared with online gambling activity in Nevada and New Jersey.
Massachusetts State Senator Jennifer Flanagan proposes legislation legalizing online games without cash transactions as a means of at least letting the state lottery experiment with the logistics and technology of online gaming.
However, stores selling lottery tickets express opposition, saying opening the door to online lottery purchases would cut into their sales of lottery tickets.
An online survey of adults in Pennsylvania shows that most state residents opposed Pennsylvania State Representative Mario Scavello's bill to criminalize online gambling.
The results are an eye-opening California's Assembly and Senate receive bills AB and SB, with provisions for legalizing, licensing, and taxing online poker.
Both bills appear to have Indian tribal support. The state governors of Nevada and Delaware agree to a compact permitting legal participation in games based in either state.
This agreement strikes the necessary balance between reasonable regulation and state sovereignty. We hope it will serve as a model for multi-state collaboration.
Online poker giant Poker expresses optimism over the online poker agreement enacted between the states of Nevada and Delaware. The official Poker statement went on to say: "This pooling compact will help and its partners deliver a world-class gaming experience to poker players in Delaware and Nevada given we are the only operator live in both, vindicating our approach to launch in all regulating states.
It would also override individual state laws pertaining to online gambling. Many other representatives express concern that the bill was misguided, saying the focus of Congress should be on keeping gamblers safe instead of rushing to embrace forms of prohibition that never work.
As the Fraternal Order of the Police president Chuck Canterbury puts it: "Not only would a ban push more and more Americans into the black market, it would remove the protections that states like Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada have already put in place.
Essentially, you are banning a well regulated system, in favor of an unregulated, unprotected, black market. The California Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization hosts a conference regarding the two bills that would allow regulated online poker.
The majority of the attendees at the conference were reportedly in favor of the bills. However, the bills stalled while the state tried to come up with a plan that was fair for everyone involved, including Californian Indian tribes, poker card rooms, and horse race tracks.
We must carefully examine the short and long-term social and economic consequences before Internet gambling spreads. According to Richard Bennett, the Chairman of the Mississippi House Gaming Committee, a task force was formed to investigate the issues pertaining to online gambling, with an eye to debating whether it should be legal in Mississippi.
Their results also conclude online gambling revenues would not impact land-based casino numbers. Respected gambling expert Steve Ruddock writes an article debunking both fears that online gambling would promote money laundering, and hopes that the historically doomed practice of prohibition could lead to anything but hazardous, unregulated black markets.
Ruddock quotes Attorney Sanford Millar, who explicitly stated, "Money laundering is not an issue for intrastate online poker … there are too many trails" before an online poker hearing in California.
Their letter, sent to the legislative branch of the federal government and condemned the bill, adds: "The nation's governors are concerned with legislation introduced in Congress that would ban online Internet gaming and Internet lottery sales because it challenges the federal-state relationship.
Pennsylvania State Senator Edwin Erickson brings bill SB to the legislature, allowing legal online poker when offered by authorized operators.
At the time, the Justice Department decided the Wire Act applied only to sports betting, not online gambling. Most believe the issue is due to the state's small population.
An Holdings application to instantiate a Nevada online poker network is approved by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Such a network could combine games between various casinos, and also include casinos from other states where online poker is legal. California legislative bill SB fails to pass due to disagreement between Indian casinos and card rooms.
In the view of many, the chances of the Graham-Chaffetz bill to prohibit online gambling passing become small. In the words of John Pappas of the Poker Players Alliance: "Fractured by ongoing partisanship and the typical stagnation of an election year, the United States Congress today can be best defined by its inaction rather than action.
First, New Jersey would need to sign the kind of interstate deal that Nevada and Delaware already have in place.
Despite opposition by major sporting leagues in the US and previous legal road-bumps, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie reverses an previous decision with a directive permitting betting horse racing tracks and casinos to accept bets on sports.
The American Gaming Association changes its position on online betting from supportive to neutral, frustrating many online gambling supporters.
Florida lawmakers submit a bill to permit the sales of lottery tickets online in Florida. The bill is opposed by storeowners who count on customers to purchase other merchandise along with lottery tickets.
Judge Michael Shipp puts New Jersey's sports betting on hold by ruling it shouldn't be legalized. Bills to ban online gambling in the US at the federal level stall, not being acknowledged for debate during lame duck Senate and House of Representatives sessions.
The Poker Players Alliance officially supports the National Fraternal Order of Police organization's position of encouraging the US Congress to avoid banning online gambling at the federal level.
Prominent Democrats indicate that although legislation to ban online gambling at the federal level failed to be heard in , the debate is far from over, and will likely be reconsidered in According to Senator Harry Reid: "I think it is an invitation to crime.
Who would have thought that a humble card game could become a force to enrage governments and divide continents?
In the years preceding , the online poker industry in the US was in turmoil, experiencing prohibition and arrests, recrimination, protest and counter-protest.
US poker players had been systematically cut off from their European friends by the Department of Justice, and millions of dollars in bankrolls were frozen.
Businesses were destroyed; livelihoods lost. But in late things began to change; while the game stagnated in Europe as the new 'dot. Suddenly, online poker became more than mere fiscal speculation and economic theory postulated by state legislators.
In Delaware and Nevada chose to legalize the game and planned to go live in , and, with many states, notably New Jersey, deliberating on whether to join the party, it seemed that the year would herald a completely new era of legal and regulated online poker in the US.
The new poker landscape would be shaped in , then, but it would look very different to the one we'd known in the past. Poker was coming home, to the country of its birth, but many questions remained.
Would the concept of an online cardroom, restricted to the population of an individual state - and vying with several other competitors - be sustainable?
Would the newly regulated states form compacts to share player pools across their borders? Would revenue be sufficient to convince other states to follow suit?
Would Chris Moneymaker ever win another major poker tournament? These were the questions that preoccupied us, as we awoke hung-over and blinking into the sunlight on January 1st, In the opening week of January, as we suspected, Chris Moneymaker failed to win a major poker tournament.
In the opening week! Blom was mostly playing triple draw during the rampage, which highlighted a very "" trend that saw high stakes players moving away from their staple hold'em and PLO games towards mixed games.
When it comes to live tournaments, however, January is all about the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, a festival that plonks hundreds of the world's best poker players on a paradise island to compete against each other in some of the highest buy-in tournaments on the circuit.
It sounds like our idea of hell! You only have to look at the dizzying achievements of Blom and Selbst to deduce that poker is a young person's game these days.
I'm on top of the world right now. While the last decade of his life was mired in controversy, upon which we simply cannot comment, Amarillo "Slim" Preston was one of the true colorful characters of the game.
A natural raconteur and self-promoter, after winning the WSOP Main Event Slim launched himself onto the chat show circuit and did huge amounts for the promotion of poker in the mainstream.
His autobiography "Amarillo Slim in a World of Fat People" remains one of the greatest books about gambling ever written. Meanwhile, Slim's home state of Texas - the birthplace of Texas Hold'em itself - announced it was considering legalizing online poker.
At the time of writing, over a year later, alas, it is still debating, and debating…. Right off the bat, at the beginning of February, , Pennsylvania announced it would also look at legalizing internet gaming and [spoiler alert], from our handy vantage point of writing a year later, this one looks to be on the cards.
But don't panic: it meant he broadly liked it; he just wanted to tinker with it so the NJ coffers got more rake. It looked like the bill would be revised and regulation would be imminent.
There was bad news for those American players who were still playing on the few online poker sites that were illegally accepting American bets, when Rep Paul Harris' bill to decriminalize the act playing of online poker in Washington State came to naught.
That is some rake! Meanwhile, there were murmurings of online poker regulation in the potentially huge market of California, following legislation proposed by State Senator Jose Luis Correa.
March Daniel "Jungleman" Cates celebrated the coming of spring by laying into fellow US high-stakes pro Tom Dwan: " TomDwan, would you like to continue our challenge instead of playing everybody else at every game on FullTiltPoker?
Jungleman was frustrated at the lack of action in their heads-up battle which appeared to have trailed off, with Dwan trailing significantly.
Dwan, it seemed, was content to play anyone but his former adversary, and we're not sure we blame him. Meanwhile, with spring, new hope! The post-Black Friday remission process moved a step closer, with the news that a claims administrator, the Garden City Group, had been appointed to oversee the process of reuniting American players with their Full Tilt funds that had been frozen by the DOJ.
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The first evidence of card games as entertainment appeared in Asia the late s. Games flourished in India and Persia during the 16 th Century.
Over the next couple of centuries, derivatives of a three-card game based on As Nas migrated to Europe after Middle Eastern merchants began trading with French and Italian merchants.
Several popular European games were imported to the Americas in the s including Poque, Brag, and Faro. By the early s, poker emerged as a hybrid of Brag and Poque.
For the last years, poker has not changed. Decks and rules have become standardized. The popularity of the individual games has changed over the years.
But in the end, everyone is still trying to achieve the same goal… make the best possible five-card poker hand , and if you don't have one, then try to bluff your way to winning the pot.
Originally, five-card draw was the game everyone played, but then it shifted away from draw and towards stud , which in turn expanded to seven cards.
Lowball and split-pot games were introduced, along with Texas Hold'em , which revolutionized the game and allowed up to 10 people to play in a single hand with two hole cards and five community cards.
Hold'em evolved further and morphed into Pineapple three hole cards and Omaha four hole cards.
Omaha itself branched off into games like Courchevel and Big-O five hole cards. In the last few years, poker has evolved further with the introduction of Badugi which has so-called origins from Korea and Open-Face Chinese Poker.
Thanks to the advances in computer technology and the advent of the internet in the late 20 th Century, poker exploded on the international scene with the introduction of online poker sites.
For the first time, a player can engage in a virtual gambling game without leaving their home. They do not need physical items like playing cards, chips, and a table to make a game possible.
As technology improves, players can play anywhere with a mobile device such as a phone or tablet. The Club Poker organizes freerolls and special tournaments with added prizes.
To qualify for free , register on our poker partners websites:. The Poker History of Poker. History of Poker.
From the card poque…. The poker cousins…. In Ireland, the locals played Poca , an off-shoot of Pochen. Vintage Mahjong tiles from China, one of the earliest ancestors to poker.
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