It’s now 2014 and this brings forth the obvious question: how good was 2013? I think the right answer is that 2013 can be characterized by the expression “Progress was made.” For poker to be really successful again, much more progress needs to be made. Hopefully, that’s what we’ll see in this coming year, and of course I’m talking about Internet poker.
In our Poker Legislation Forum there is a thread called the “Congressional Internet Poker & Casino Gaming Hearing: 12/10,” and it’s about the Congressional Hearing that was held to discuss the “State of Online Gambling.” This hearing was held by the “House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee.” Also in this thread, if you look at the first post, you can watch a video of the complete hearing, and I strongly recommend that everyone on our site who is interested in playing Internet poker in the United States watch this video.
So why is this important? Well, if you watch the hearing, there is no question that progress has been made. First, John Pappas, Executive Director of The Poker Player’s Alliance does an excellent job speaking for poker, Representative Joe Barton of Texas, whose bill would allow for poker to be played on the Internet on a state by state basis, is terrific, and the other members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee are virtually all at least somewhat positive towards this bill. That’s a big difference when compared to past committee hearings.
However, Internet poker still has opposition, and one of the people testifying in front of this hearing would certainly fall into that group. Fortunately, he did not appear well prepared, and in my opinion made a number of mistakes. I won’t get into what these errors were, but it’s my suspicion that next time our opposition will be better prepared.
So, this brings us back to where this note started. Progress has been made, and having three states now up and running (by offering poker games on the Internet) is great, but much more needs to be done. Again, I’m optimistic about the future but recognize that much work still needs to be done and that progress won’t always be as fast as we would like it.
Finally, for those of you who want to be kept up to date with what is happening relative to Internet poker, please follow our Poker Legislation Forum and make sure to read the monthly article from Rich Muny and the PPA that appears in each issue of this magazine.