Lynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris
*(The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act that made sports betting illegal)
The big question following the US Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision is; now that PAPSA is dead, will online poker reap the benefits? The answer is; it depends on who you ask.
Many who learned of the new ruling were highly optimistic, among them “Poker Brat” Phil Hellmuth. In fact, he quickly tweeted: Every Major sport (NBA, NFL, MLB) is behind the legalization of sports betting, and all of them will profit by it. But how can Sports Betting online be legalized w/out online poker being legalized (clearly more skill than sports betting)? The time is NOW to legalize online poker!”
PokerStars ambassador Jason Somerville also joined in the tweetfest: Great news to wake up to! we’ll see just how much this helps US online poker but the financial incentives for states to pass gaming legislation just got a whole lot more attractive. let’s go!
And Mark Cuban, billionaire investor and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks seemed confident that the Supreme Court decision will help the game of poker. In an interview with CNBC, Cuban predicted that the gaming industry at large will be able to capitalize on new business opportunities thanks to the ruling. According to Cuban, online poker could be a beneficiary.“I’m not a constitutional lawyer,” Cuban said in a phone call, “but, you can see online poker all of a sudden…Someone is going to start up online poker again.”
Kevin Iacofano, a 2018 WSOP Circuit Main Event winner, understands that the two aren’t necessarily linked, so he’s urging fans and players alike to push lawmakers into introducing legislation that would combine online poker with sports wagering. He stated, “If you are a poker player and you haven’t made a call or email to your representative, especially now your state representative, make your voice heard. Tag online poker along with the sports betting wave and this Black Friday to now nightmare will be over.”
The brilliant poker reporter, Lee Davy, writing for CalvinAyre.com, had a very different take on the court ruling, asking, “How is this whole PASPA deal going to affect online poker?”
According to Davy, the short answer is that it probably won’t, at least in the short term. He explains that PASPA is a sports betting law that has nothing to do with poker, online or otherwise. Therefore, PASPA’s death is not going to launch online poker industries in dozens of states. Besides, he reasons, if states were going to legalize online poker, they would have done so already.
Davy also reminds his readers that despite the enthusiastic tweets from members of the poker elite, he doesn’t really buy the notion that they are dying to see online poker legalized. He points out the fact that the PPA (Poker Players Alliance), the supposed conduit between the players and the politicians, was unable to raise a paltry $25,000 to support their efforts.
Nevertheless, the Poker Players Alliance issued the following press release from PPA president Rich Muny:
This is a great decision for consumers who for years have had no alternative to wager on sports other than the black market. It presents states with the perfect opportunity to establish sensible policies not only to regulate sports wagering, but also other forms of gaming, including internet poker. Whether you are betting on sports or playing poker, lawmakers must make it a priority to protect consumers. The states that have already regulated internet poker have proven that it can be done in a way that benefits consumers and governments. It makes sense for states that are eyeing sports betting to also realize the benefit of regulated iPoker and iGaming.
“Today marks an important date for the future of gaming in the United States,” Muny added. “The future of sports betting will continue to rely on internet and mobile technologies, and this is also true for all gaming. Now more than ever, states should take control of unregulated internet poker and sports betting and create systems that protect adult consumers and provide governments with new streams of revenue.”
So the bottom line is that we’ll see. What do you think? Send me your thoughts or comments!