Ultimate Gaming Shuts Down Vegas Online Poker Room
Enjoy hitting the virtual slots and trying your hand at online poker? If you live in Nevada, the opportunity to hit it rich just got a bit more difficult. Ultimate Gaming has pulled out of Nevada due to difficulties remaining profitable in the online poker arena. Ultimate Gaming sited overbearing and cumbersome state regulations that have resulted in Ultimate Gaming not only pulling the plug on their Nevada operations, but New Jersey as well.
State Regulations Shutter Online Poker Sites
A frightening trend that jumps out at analysts after the recent announcement is the effect of burdensome state regulations on online poker sites. Ultimate Gaming isn’t the first company to fall victim to state regulators. However, it’s important to note that it’s not just Nevada’s fault. In fact, it’s become an increasingly scary national landscape for online poker sites to traverse, as each of the fifty states requires different standards and operating procedures that must be followed; the majority of which have a one word policy: NO.
Out of the fifty states in the union, only three have fully legalized online gambling according to USA Today. Residents of Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey have all seen some significant bumps to their state tax revenue by legalizing live online casinos sites. While this has been a great initial boost, the states have done little to keep the trend going. While state legalization has provided a much needed launching point for US based online poker sites in the past, the cumbersome regulations that vary so widely from state to state have become the downfall of multiple online poker sites; with Ultimate Gaming being their latest victim.
Legalization and Online Poker
So, you may find yourself asking: If betting / gambling is illegal in my state, could I have visited Ultimate Gaming’s website and partaken in the fun? The short answer is no. The legalization of online poker sites is decided case by case by the individual states. If you live outside of Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey or an Indian reservation, you’re out of luck. Prior to legalization by the three states mentioned above, the FBI released a special bulletin titled Online Gambling: Don’t Roll the Dice. This article talked about how a little online wager could cost the average Joe big time; jail sentences, fines, the works.
Just because it’s illegal in your state doesn’t mean you can’t join in the fun. Many users gamble with their freedom by connecting through proxy servers so that the site thinks the user is in a state where it’s legal. It’s a risk that thousands of Americans choose to take every year. The question is, if there’s clearly a market, why aren’t states cashing in on the additional tax revenue by allowing online poker sites to base themselves in their state?
No matter where you stand on the move to legalize gambling (virtual or land-based) in your home state, it seems like there are more questions than answers for the states that do make the move to legalize online poker sites. It’s becoming clear that the decision to legalize gambling is less important, than how to regulate companies that launch in the wake of legalization. States should enact regulations to keep us safe while still enabling online poker sites to turn a profit and remain open. After all, we need companies like these to create jobs and spur further economic growth.