Many states of the United States are exploring the option of allowing playing online poker within their jurisdictions. Some of them have already started allowing the same. For instance, a good start for Internet and online gambling in New Jersey has already taken place.
However, there are some aberrations as well when it comes to allowing use of Bitcoins for gaming and gambling in U.S. It has been reported that two Las Vegas casinos would start accepting virtual currency known as Bitcoins. However, this is a tricky situation as use of Bitcoins is legally risky in many jurisdictions including India. Even Bitcoins exchanges in India have been facing legal actions in many cases. Recently, the E-Sports Entertainment LLC (ESEA) entered into a consent judgment for creating ESEA Botnet and violation of CFA and CROA.
For the time being, there seems to be no clarity regarding playing of online gaming an online gambling in U.S. This is more so when Bitcoins are used for such playing. The Poker News Daily has reported that though Americans are free to play online poker in three states yet efforts in the direction of legalising and regulating online poker are also on rise.
In fact, a letter has been sent to state Attorneys General calling for an outright ban on online poker. The letter is divided into two parts. The first is a plea from Chris Koster, Missouri’s Attorney General, Jon Bruning, Nebraska’s Attorney General, and Alan Wilson, South Carolina’s, to their fellow state Attorneys General from around the country, urging them to sign the attached letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of both the Senate and House of Representatives Judiciary Committees. The Attorneys General also want the federal government to ban online gambling in the three states – Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey – that have already legalised and regulated it.
That letter asks Congress to make online gambling, including poker, illegal. In December 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice was seized with the question whether Use of the Internet and Out-Of-State Processors to Sell Lottery Tickets Violates the Wire Act (PDF). The Department said that the Wire Act outlawed only online sports betting, not all online gambling.
It seems the issue is not going to die very soon just like in India. The legality of online poker in India is still not clear and it is a grey area. Any entrepreneur who wishes to start an online poker business in India has to comply with Indian laws to the best possible extent. Otherwise, he may find himself on the wrong side of the law.