U.S. Online Poker Futures

Updated: October 10th, 2011 by Dev Ops

In sports betting, futures are bets you make on some outcome that will happen down the road. A futures bet is not a win/loss wager on one game. It may be on who will win the English Premiere League, which team will win the Super Bowl or the over/under on many homeruns a specific player will get. Futures odds change a lot as the event gets closer or whether of not the goal will be reached starts to become more evident.

There’s a lot of speculating these days on the futures of online poker in the U.S. That is what tactics will work best to will position online poker providers to compete once the online money game is made legal? Here are some tactics that may or may not help poker room operators secure a share of the market in the future.

Free Online Poker

Land-based casinos are starting to offer free online poker where members can compete for points and prizes. This type of online poker is legal in the U.S. due to the fact that no cash is involved. Games that U.S. players know well, such as Texas Holdem, are offered. Some poker software companies such as the Australian based Aristocrat are supplying the software to do just that. It’s a direct connection to American casinos and an indirect one to the U.S. players.

Nevada Licenses

One company is applying for a license through the state of Nevada. Paddy Power, an Irish sportsbook, has applied to the Nevada Gaming Commission for a license to manufacture and operate mobile gambling devices within that state. Nevada casino hotel guests may legally use those mobile devices when they are on hotel premises. It will be interesting to see how the Gaming Commission of Nevada, which tends to be parochial, will react.

If Paddy Power gets the license, it will be one step closer to garnering a license for online poker when those are available. Nevada has a law in place that will allow them to take applications for online poker rooms once the U.S. enacts a law permitting such rooms.

U.S. Casino Connections

Companies such as 888 have been considering partnerships with large casinos. 888 has been in talks with Caesars. That connection may certainly help them secure a spot in the U.S. market and with very little effort. Caesars seemed especially interested in the deal while 888 has kept its cards close to the vest.

Tribal Casinos

Playtech sealed a deal with some California tribal casino operators and created a company that would offer the software through which those casinos could provide play for free poker in the state. This is similar to the Aristocrat venture but this is specific to Indian-owned casinos. Many states allow tribal casinos and others have commercial casinos. Still, other states have both.

Playing Fair with U.S. Law

One thing that will put online poker rooms and casinos in a good light is if they played fair with U.S. law and stayed out of the market. In other words, PokerStars and Full Tilt may have a tough time getting into the market, as may other rooms that have been active in the U.S. For PokerStars and Full Tilt it may be especially tough since both are currently under indictment.

What’s the Future?

For years, online poker was in its Wild West phase. Then the Department of Justice changed all of that with its law and order raids on April 15, 2011. Now the landscape is less like the Wild West and more like a polite, high society cocktail party where all of the right moves will allow you to get into the exclusive golf club where all the big deals are made. It’s an interesting time for online poker and gambling in the U.S.

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