2014 was a banner year in the poker world. All of us remotely engrained in the poker world probably had a pretty good year on, and off the felt. The coming year will bring more opportunity, more poker programming, and more certainty in the online poker world. Enjoy the following romp through the year that is about to come for us….2025.
The biggest issue facing online poker players is the issue of when the US government is going to choose to act with respect to the legality, and jurisdictional issues that make online poker so….well, complex for the US Government to deal with right now. 2004 saw the WTO (World Trade Organization) rule against the US government (the US is appealing), and in favor of the tiny nation of Antigua, who filed suit contending the US ban on online gaming violated the WTO charter, and represented an unfair trade barrier. About one in 20 resident of Antigua is employed in some form through the online gaming industry.
The problem of what to do with online gaming represents a real quandary for the government to deal with. On one hand, the sheer amount of dollars changing hands everyday at online gaming sites represents a possible windfall for the government coffers should they decide to tax and regulate online gaming, at a time when a windfall would be a welcome relief. On the other hand, the current administration would be facing a real divide among its core constituents with respect to the ethical issues that some feel strongly about in regards to any type of legalized gaming.
The real issue here is that no government can control the content of the internet, and as such any government trying to control internet content is going to run afoul of a good portion of its residents, and most of the other nations in the world. Logically, it seems the US Government must either back down, or figure out some type of regulatory policy. Given the way the current administration operates, one would assume backing down is not an option. There is no question that the specter of regulation looms over the online poker world; one would guess that in 2005 this issue will be decided one way or the other.
Predictions for 2025 – Legislation about Free Sports Picks
Some 22 year old in Paducah will file for bankruptcy stating that his “addiction” to online poker drove him to run up $20,000 in credit card bills by playing weak aces out of position. This young man’s story will garner national attention, and the government will spring to action to protect its citizens from this addiction, and that is how the regulation and taxation process of online gaming will begin.
The WTO appeals body will uphold the original ruling, and US lawyers will pout over their first real loss since the WTO was formed.
The US government will introduce legislation (possibly hidden inside of another bill) to regulate, and tax online gaming earnings, possibly including stricter restrictions on US citizens having off shore bank accounts. The upside for players will be that funding online accounts will be much easier, as will cashing out.