Congressional Battle over Online Gambling Heats up

by , May 19, 2010 | 10:41 am

It’s here … the debate we all wanted in 2007, 2008, and 2009 is finally happening. And all signs point to good-for-poker. But we might wanna be careful what we wish for … not sure exactly how it’s gonna play out, but even if the laws we champion get passed post-haste it won’t be like we’re suddenly back in 2006, time-warped to an era when Jamie Gold was the only thing bad about poker. Ahh, the innocence …

Even as online gambling legislation that would effectively make online poker fully legal moves forward, so many different interests will be fighting to have things worded their way … gave today’s hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee some significant real estate … and in general the mainstream media has been chirping. Expect the chatter to increase as June 1 approaches. We’ll see if and when online gambling — and specifically poker — become something more than a side-snippet across the multiple channels of CableTalk TV.

Still, with this most recent movement on the McDermott bill — a little 2-hour committee hearing — we got one big step closer to the day when all those 10s of millions of Zynga poker players suddenly begin to play for real money.

2 Comments to “Congressional Battle over Online Gambling Heats up”

  1. Beanie

    This may not be interesting to anyone but it is not my impression that people on Zynga are dying to play poker for real money. I know this because we have a facebook game coming out and we have done a fair amount of market research on the subject. I do think many of those people have played for real money at some point and lost. Rather than remaining losers for life they prefer to be social while killing their time.

    Also I don’t think Zynga poker players have felt invited to OUR party. Imagine if someone came on 2+2 talking about Zynga games, they would be laughed out of the room. Yet Zynga is likely not only the most profitable platform as a whole (admittedly not just from poker but it all started with poker) it is 100% legal and it’s estimated value is 5 billion dollars. A lot of people would think that at least Stars would be valued at that amount or more but it would be tough to find a buyer at that price giving the legal noose around their neck.

  2. DanM

    Beanie, I think you’re so right. If there is a new poker boom coming, those are the fish-FILLED waters the new-new American game will be drawing from.

    However, from a competitive standpoint, post-UIGEA, they would hold lots of strength and power in the real-money poker world simply by virtue of their numbers. Imagine if PartyPoker could start from scratch with a 230-million player base … and whatever new technology some of the biggest dogs in the facebook world bring to the table.

    At the same time, because they’ve already got all the data they need on their players (and their friends) … it doesn’t seem to leave room for the affiliates of old.