Poker is one of the most beloved card games in the world. Poker is undoubtedly a prevalent pastime, whether we talk about professional poker tournaments, online games, or just a fun time with friends. And as we progress into the digital age, more and more people are interested in trying out their poker skills.
Online Poker Legality
However, there is a problem. It is difficult for many to go to a casino. They might be time-constricted or simply not live near a gambling establishment. In other words, their only option to play poker is to do so online. However, United States laws are very murky regarding online gambling. Thus far, the hobby has only been legalized in seven states:
· New Jersey
· West Virginia
In any other state, you will either have to visit land-based establishments or play at offshore casino sites if you want to play casino games for money, which is why we are writing this article as a petition to bring poker back to America. We will discuss why online poker should be legal and how to prevent problem gambling. Let’s get to the nitty gritty of the article without further ado.
Online Poker is a Game of Skill
One of the biggest problems with gambling is that it relies solely on luck. And to an extent, this is true. Online slot machines famously use random number generator software to recreate the randomness of land-based games. While a bit more demanding than slots, Blackjack is still purely based on luck. And, as Albert Einstein famously said: “the only way to win at Roulette is to steal the chips while the dealer isn’t looking.”
However, poker is different. There is no house edge or odds at poker. It is a game of skill, with the outcome solely dependent on the skill level of each player. Playing poker online would be similar to playing any skill-based video game competitively. In other words, if we’ve embraced the emergence of e-Sports, then why not accept poker as a viable option?
How to Prevent Problem Gambling?
Another concern that lawmakers might have is problem gambling. For those unaware, problem gambling or gambling addiction refers to a compulsive need to gamble way beyond your means. Online casinos have a terrible reputation for problem gambling, as many believe it is easier to develop an addiction if you play online.
However, that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. Data shows that online casinos are the cause of more problem gambling. Online casinos often monitor player activity and prevent them from gambling beyond their means. Moreover, plenty of regulations could be implemented in the online poker industry to help prevent the rise of gambling addiction. Outright banning the practice is neither the only nor the best solution.
Examples of Regulation
One of the most obvious examples of regulation is already being implemented across online casinos. The basic premise is simple. Online casinos tend to monitor their users’ activities. If they spot one of their players has spent too much time playing a game, they might contact them and encourage them to take a break. Failing that, they could temporarily restrict their account and prevent them from placing more bets.
Many have criticized this method, saying monitoring users requires much workforce and effort. And while that may have been true in the past, thanks to the developments in artificial intelligence, it is no longer the case. AI can process excessive data and pinpoint problems in a concise amount of time. Once the AI locates a player that could be considered at risk, a human employee contacts them to ensure everything is alright.
Does Banning Online Poker Work?
Most importantly, banning online poker does not discourage people from gambling. Those who are learning to play poker have a desire to test their skill. And if they can’t do it online, they will find other ways to do it legally, whether a land-based casino, an offshore gambling website, or a home game.
In other words, having a safe, regulated, and legal online gambling industry is better than forcing people to look for alternatives. As the 1920s clearly showed, prohibition does not work and never will. And considering online poker games are no more dangerous than land-based poker tournaments, we see no reason the practice should be illegal.