Will Nevada Throw Online Poker Players In Jail?

from the just-wondering dept

There’s some disagreement as to the legality of online gambling in the US. Some insist that while running an online gambling site is still banned by US laws, playing at an online gambling site is perfectly legal. Unfortunately, there are those in the Justice Department who have made it clear that they believe anyone participating in online gambling is breaking the law. It would be interesting to see any such case going to court — as the written law is anything but clear. For all the confusion at the federal level, though, one place where it is clear is in Nevada, where the law says you cannot gamble online (you would have to believe the big casinos were supporters of that law, preferring to get you inside, rather than reach you online). However, it appears that the law is not enforced, leading some to wonder if there will ever be a crackdown on online gamblers in Nevada. Considering that many of the top poker players live in Nevada and advertise about ways to play them online, any such crackdown could bring down some big names. However, Nevada officials seem to be waiting on what the federal government does first… which might not get those poker players out of trouble. The US government has mostly been focusing on those who simply advertise online gambling — something many of the same top name players are guilty of participating in as well.

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Comments on “Will Nevada Throw Online Poker Players In Jail?”

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Josh Tomaino (user link) says:

The Real Casinos

I think it kind of calmed down after the casinos realized it didn’t cut into their unbelievable profits as much as they thought. Since most gamblers travel to the casinos for that experience you can’t quite get sitting in front of a computer, they still have a lot to offer that online gambling sites cannot. I’m sure if it ever did cause a problem for them though, you’d see an explosion of jailed online gamblers.

It’s all about money, and the casinos are making plenty.

brian says:

Re: The Real Casinos

I think Vegas and other real casino’s could show a boost in play due to the online craze. The casinos should do more of the “large payout” tournaments. The WSOP might have 10,000 players this year. That’s not because of ESPN covering it as much as it is the online casinos driving it. That’s 10,000 players at $10,000.00 per seat. Not bad……

giafly says:

Re: Re: The Real Casinos

Brian, not all these players paid full price.

“A “satellite” is a special kind of tournament in which the prize is an entry into another tournament. For example, a single-table satellite might have a $100 buyin and award one seat to a tournament with a $1000 buyin. Satellites are a popular way for players to get into a high-stakes tournament when they prefer not to buy in directly for such a large amount. A famous satellite example is Chris Moneymaker’s $40 buyin to a World Series of Poker satellite: he eventually won the big event (which costs $10,000 to buy in directly) and took home the $2.5 million first prize.” – Online Poker FAQ

joe says:

Re: Re: Re: The Real Casinos

The $10,000 is a buy-in that mostly goes toward prize money. The satellite players got their buy-in from the other satellite players. All players give the casino a fixed fee for running the tournament, which is a small fraction of the $10,000. In fact, the casino will get more money from the satellite players, because they will pay the casino fee for the satellite as well as for the main event.

Joe T says:

Speaking of online casinos...

I wonder if they will be targeted in subpoenas to identify their US-based customers? Where the law falls on this should be interesting. PartyPoker.com, for example, appears to be located in Canada (based on IP), but advertises heavily in the USA. Just the word that a subpeona is being sought to identify US lawbreakers should be enough to shut that site down.

Mikester says:


The US government has mostly been focusing on those who simply advertise online gambling — something many of the same top name players are guilty of participating in as well
Actually, the online companies as well as the players that advertise for them should be in the clear since all advertising is for the companies’ non-gambling, free to play sites. Of course, once you sign up, you are advertised to join their pay-to-play site, thus getting around the no online gambling advertisement laws.

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