Carbon Poker is back in the USA

Posted by the-ace | poker online | Friday 14 October 2011 10:10 pm Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

In a move against the tide, Carbon Poker is back today in the United States.

The poker room is again offering access to real money games to American players (except New York, Kentucky, Washington DC, Maryland, Washington, Missouri and Louisiana), as well as to players from all over the world (except France and Australia).

Since the Black Friday of online poker on April 15th 2011, when the DOJ and FBI shut down the major online poker rooms (pokerstars, full tilt poker, absolute poker, UB Poker and Doyle’s room a few weeks later), online poker has been on a standstill in America with almost no poker room remaining active.

This is the first time that a poker operator reenters the US market and it is clear that Carbon Poker will become instantly the leader in this open field. As a matter of fact they were the leader until they decided to leave the USA in June to take time to recoup, only allowing existing American players to get involved at the real money tables in the interim.

This new development may create some confusion for the players. Is it legal or not to play online poker in the USA? And how come some rooms were closed while others are moving in?

The short answer is that it is perfectly legal to play online poker in the USA. The recent actions by the Government only targeted the poker operators, not the players. Some of these operators are accused of processing financial transaction related to online gambling in an illegal way, according to the UIGEA, the main law regulating online gambling in the USA.

UIGEA is a controversial and poorly understood law that does not prohibit online gambling itself, only the way operator are allowed or not allowed to execute financial transfers related to such activity. In addition online poker is not legally considered online gambling, and various scholars have proved that poker cannot be characterized as gambling as skill plays an important part. This is one argument used by the defense of some of the people indicted in April.

There are only a handful of online poker rooms left in the USA and most players choose to migrate to Carbon Poker after Black Friday. According to poker specialist Paul T. Martin, “Carbon Poker has the most traffic and this is the main aspect to many players given the rarefied playing field. They also have interesting features, such as a bad beat jackpot which is often in the six figures, a sleek software and the ability to multi-table with resizable tables. The room is safe and trustworthy with no history of payment problems whatsoever. They follow gambling laws as they have not been accused of any wrongdoing. They have a VIP program for the most active players.”

The bottom line is that despite the current crackdown, it is legal to play online poker in the United States and there are still a few options available to US players, the best of which being Carbon Poker. This is not expected to change until 2012 or 2013 as online gambling law reforms will take at least a year before they get started.

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