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.

Sexton’s poker predictions for 2011

Last year Poker Hall of Fame extraordinaire Mike Sexton has revealed that he has made a few predictions about where the poker legislations this year were headed to. According to what he said, and if it really is so then there would be a lot of changes in the game of poker and online poker for the year 2011.

What Mike says is that poker will also manage to get out of the so called ‘grey area’. This will be because of the legislation bought about that will help in determining what the game of the future holds for the internet. Mike also goes on to say that if there were no federal changes happening on that front then there would be some US States changing their gambling laws like California that would work towards moving the legal regulatory norms in favor of online poker on a State basis.

This year he says was a controversial year for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This should be got about with the acceptance of Rep.Barney Franks new alternative laws which is also looking at legalizing the online gambling and poker scene on a federal level. Even though Frank Barney has said that he is retiring and will not be candidate for a new term, it is expected that he will remain involved with gambling laws, possibly as a lobbyist.

Sexton has also seen poker on a global level and says that the global poker scene will continue to increase in its popularity, and this will be because of the world wide audience that TV can get. He even mentioned that more countries on the global front will regulate online poker such as Belgium, Germany and the UK, just like what Spain and France did recently. This also means that online poker players will now be able to play poker in their own markets and according to Sexton this could prove to be a role model for the United States.

Mike really sees a bit change in the USA regarding online poker legislation as this issue is not currently bringing any tax income despite the federal deficit, and it is also wasting a lot of time on Capital Hill in partisan debates that could be better used to focus on real issues to help the country instead of the current bigot movement against online gaming.