Archive for the ‘online poker’ Category

Online Poker Bill Passes Committee Vote in New York

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

online poker in new york
Online poker has been talked about in the New York legislature since 2012 but wasn’t actually considered seriously till 2015. New York Senator John Bonacic first sponsored a bill to legalize online poker in 2012, but it never made it to committee, the first step necessary on the way to legalization. Senator Bonacic, chairman of the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, said that he never intended to push the bill through at that time. He just wanted to get the ball rolling so that legislators could start discussing the pros and cons of internet gaming (iGaming). The bill was re-written by gaming committee chairman J. Gary Pretlow and introduced in the gaming committee in 2015, but it stalled and never made it out of the committee.

Fast forward to 2016 and it’s a different story. This time the bill, S.5302-B, sailed through on a 9-0 vote. The vote for the online poker bill did not take place publicly, with the entire hearing lasting only four minutes. Sen. Bonacic issued a brief statement on the legislation: “S.5302-B took a necessary step forward today with its vote out of the Racing Committee. The Bill now goes to the Finance Committee and I anticipate having ongoing discussions with my colleagues in both Houses regarding this bill as session moves forward.”
There now appears to be real momentum for online poker in New York. This comes in spite of the fact that there has been so much negative publicity concerning New York’s Attorney General declaring daily fantasy sports as illegal online gambling. So, it doesn’t seem that New York is anti-gambling online at all. They just want to make sure that everything is regulated to guarantee player protection. And, of course, to insure that New York gets its share of tax revenue.

The executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, John Pappas, offered this statement after the vote: “The PPA thanks Chairman John Bonacic and the Committee for acting quickly to pass iPoker legislation through the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering. If passed into law, the bill would provide New Yorkers who play poker online with a safe and regulated environment, while bringing in revenue for the state. We encourage the Finance Committee to move quickly to usher the legislation through the Senate, and also urge the Assembly to move forward with their respective legislation.” Pappas also said that “It would be a mistake for New York to wait for its brick-and-mortar casinos to go online. Moving Internet poker legislation now would establish an existing customer base of poker players for brick-and-mortar casinos when they open their doors for business.”

The Senate Finance Committee will next host the bill, but that hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Poker Stars and Full Tilt Leave Markets

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

With there being no real secret to the agenda regarding the world’s most (in)famous online poker brand’s desire to relaunch in several legitimate online gambling markets, namely the UK and US, PokerStars has begun to remove itself from questionable markets that may prohibit it from becoming part of the UK and US iGaming regimes.

The markets affected by this new move are of relative obscurity, including a handful of countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. These areas of the world have casinos online, but are considered to be grey markets, and thus, not as reputable as markets like that of the UK.

After it was announced that PokerStars would be asking players to close accounts in countries such as Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Nigeria Malaysia, and Turkey, executives at the company issued a statement asking that existing players in these markets cash out and close their accounts “at their convenience,” and to take advantage of any upcoming tournament entries and Frequent Player Points before making a final withdrawal. This new move out of unsavory markets for PokerStars is an important one that comes at a crucial juncture in the UK market, as the impending UK Gambling Act (Licensing and Advertising) expected to go into effect next month requires that any online operator intending to seek a remote gambling license does not receive more than 3% of its gaming revenues from unlicensed markets.

The UK casino market online is one of the largest and most lucrative in the world, generating about £2.5 billion ($4.26 billion US) in yearly revenue, with £329 million ($559 million US) of that income generated by online poker. Needless to say, this is the online poker market to go after for PokerStars.

Amaya Gaming purchased PokerStars months back with the plan to give the brand a new image and draw attention aways from its rocky beginnings of taking wagers from illegal markets in the past. The US market was very lucrative for the online poker giant until the Department of Justice targeted its operations, charging the brand with unlawful dealings i.e. taking real money wagers from US players.

PokerStars is undisputedly the largest online poker hub in the world, with a player pool unrivaled. Since Amaya bought the company, it has launched a full-fledged marketing campaign to make the poker site legitimate in the eyes of major regulated markets. With the UK market a big possibility – and very soon at that – industry insiders are speculating as to whether the PokerStars name will make its way back into the US market now that Amaya, one of the most highly respected casino operators in the world, has taken the reigns.

One notable country that PokerStars did not remove itself from in this new announcement was Canada, where several well-known operators such as Betfred, Ladbrokes, Matchbook, and EuroPartners have recently stopped taking wagers. Since Amaya is a Canadian company with a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange, this should come as no surprise that the two top poker brands are staying put in Canada.

California Online Poker Progress On Hold

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

After a 5-year continuation of one unsuccessful attempt after another to legalize online poker in California – the once considered most favorable state to enter the online gambling market in the US – proponents are once again scratching their collective heads wondering when and if.

One of two bills that have been created in an effort to legalize online poker play in California was put on hold recently, with several lawmakers taking the position there was not enough time left before the current 2014 legislative session to make changes to the law and add further meticulous standards required to get the bill passed successfully through the House.

The delayed bill, SB 1366, was drafted by Senator Lou Correa, who happens to be the chairman of the Senate Governmental Organization Committee (the same committee that oversees gambling in the State), has seen a tough battle in regards to interstate compacts and tribal casinos.

AB 2291 is the other bill, and us widely considered by industry insiders as an answer to most everything that initial goals failed to use in persuading a positive outcome from the get-go. It seeks to permit and regulate online poker legislation, and is currently waiting a hearing date.

Three US states are already live with websites offering a variety of online casino games. California is seeking online poker legislature only at this point. California was initially considered to be one of the top three states to legislate, yet roadblocks from tribal communities looking to stave off land-based gaming failure should online casinos become legal, as well as disagreements over interstate game play, have gotten in the way of any legislative success at this time. Now we wait once again.

Still, there is room for optimism, as there are several lawmakers in favor of online poker. But whether they will get a bill passed before succumbing to opposition and political pressure from the other side of the house floor is of some concern.

The bottom line is that the main failure in getting a bill passed stems from various arguments over specifics in the two existing bills. Lingering issues between lawmakers and several casinos and poker sites that operated within California before authorities cracked down on them remain. Bad actor clauses are being considered to ensure sites that operated improperly before the crackdown are not permitted to legally operate in the state, and is creating a lot of argument.

California’s tribal casinos are the other main roadblock. There are dozens of land-based tribal casinos in the state of California which provide all the gambling services available in the state. Understandably, they are very concerned that online poker sites will greatly affect the revenue generated at these brick ‘n mortar casinos.

Earlier in this year, the outcome of a bill getting passed seemed very probable. Then, waning income and less-than-stellar earnings from existing online casinos in the US led to a slower urgency to get a bill passed. While in wait, California lawmakers will certainly be keeping close tabs on the online casino operators in the three states where online gambling is regulated. We are likely looking to the very beginning of 2015 before any bill could get a casino online in California.

Nevada Casino Chain Gets into Online Gambling Action

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 11.11.28 AMFinally, we’re feeling a pulse rate in Nevada again. Well, sort of anyway. According to the Associated Press and other online news outlets, the northern Nevada casino chain, Peppermill Resorts, has launched its online gambling counterpart via the Ultimate Poker brand.

Peppermill released an announcement stating that players can now make deposits at their main brick-n-mortar casino property in Reno (at the Western Village in Sparks) along with 3 of its other properties located in Wendover (on Interstate 80 along the Utah line).

As with any US state that has regulated online gambling, players who wish to play online poker at the new site must be a resident of Nevada (located within state lines) to play. The Peppermill stated that those who are interested in taking part in the action must sign up online at PeppermillReno.com/Ultimate, where they will be able to open an account. They must then make a deposit at any of the brick and mortar casinos included in the Peppermill brand.

Nevada Legislature approved legal online poker within state borders in 2013. Ultimate Gaming, owned by Las Vegas-based Station Casinos, is one of only 3 of the many casino operators in the state that have taken the online route to create more action . This new online outlet for gambling takes its prevalent place alongside World Series of Poker, owned by Caesars Entertainment, and Real Gaming, owned by the South Point.

Here’s the rundown: The online poker games we see available at this time run the gambit, from Texas Holdem variations to Omaha. What we like about the rules here is that they are all clearly stated and extremely easy to understand. If you want to know how much time you have to wager once your cards are dealt, the time limits are right there and accessible. This is refreshing, as many online poker based outside the US market can be a bit tedious in sharing rules and regulations.

For tournaments (both multi-table and sit-and-go style tournaments), the fee is easily accessed within the tourney lobby. We also see that these events start form $9.10 entry (towards the prize pool) and +.90 cents, which is the fee (which is paid to the house for running the event, aka, house rake). This fee varies based on the stakes of the poker event, the number of online poker players taking part (who were dealt into the hand), and the size of the final pot.

This online poker room, practices the true tradition of table stakes: you may only bet (and lose) what you have in front of you at the table (for cash games). Deposit accordingly, but always stick to your budget. And bet only what you can afford to lose, not the amount you want to win.

When you enter a tournament, you are allotted a fixed number of tournament chips in return for your buy-in. These poker chips have no cash value and are not to be removed from tournament tables. When you run out of tournament chips, you are done. All in all, this is very typical of most global casinos online that provide poker. What definitely makes online poker rooms like this one stand out is the transparency in how rules and regulations for each and every event are shared.

Deposit bonus codes are available and easily entered into the deposit area when a player makes a deposit. Each bonus has its own rules stated on the promotional page associated with the bonus. Again, this is highly transparent practice.

Players can keep tabs on bonuses in their Account Wallet under their Bonus Tab. This is one of many nice Ultimate Poker provisions. Only one bonus can be worked on at a time. Should a player have multiple bonuses available, the default bonus selection will be the bonus that is first to expire. However, the player has the option to choose which bonus they want to activate and work towards clearing first.

If you are located in Nevada and have been dying for more online poker sites to become available, check out this one today to get in on the action. And please share your experience in the comments below!

Amaya Buys PokerStars for $4.9 Billion

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

PokerStars_AmayaThe deal is sealed, and what a deal it is. The online gambling industry has been anticipating an announcement soon, and it certainly got one: Amaya Gaming has purchased the PokerStars online poker brand for nearly $5 billion.

Due to the online poker brand’s historical legal drama, Mark Scheinberg (whose father remains under indictment in the US), has been declared a new billionaire. More precisely, he’s a billionaire a few times over, as Poker Stars agreed to be purchased for $4.9 billion in cash.

Poker Stars is based in the UK (Isle of Man) and was being operated by parent company Rational Group Ltd. before the sale to Canada’s Amaya Gaming Group Inc. Scheinberg is Rational’s CEO and owns 75% of company. In the deal, Scheinberg will leave his post at Rational upon completion of the transaction.

It can easily be argued that this father-and-son team was one of the first major companies within the online gambling industry. While internet wagering was around before PokerStars began offering online poker in 2001, the online poker brand now has more than 85 million registered online users from all corners of the planet.

Rational netted around $420 million after paying various taxes, interest and other fees from $1.1 billion in gross earnings during 2013, which is an impressive sale, considering Poker Stars’ “checkered” past of taking illegal wagers from US players before the US passed definitive online gambling laws. Many industry insiders would say that several brands were caught up in the gray area of online waging in the US during that time.

PokerStars Legal Issues

Poker Stars was certainly just one of a large number of online gambling companies taking real money wagers from US players while the analysis of US online gambling laws was being examined and argued in courts.

A little over 3 years ago, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York charged Isai Scheinberg and 10 other company big wigs (from other gambling sites) with money laundering, illegal gambling and bank fraud. Fallout from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA), which took place that April, prohibited companies from accepting payments for real money online wagers (later overturned by a DOJ ruling on the 1969 Wire Act).

After the massive crackdown, PokerStars settled for $731 million in 2012 to have charges dropped. The deal, interestingly enough, cleared the online poker giant of any wrongdoing within the eyes of the Justice Department. And yet, Poker Stars has been shunned in the US since then – most recently by the state of New Jersey, which suspended Poker Stars’ online gambling application for 2 years.

This new acquisition is most likely engineered in some part to boost the brand’s reputation for a much desired reentry into the burgeoning US market.

Since the settlement and subsequent advancements in online wagering activity in the US, Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have launched online casino sites of their own. Clauses deemed “bad actors” in these states, however, exclude companies involved in the 2006 UIGEA crackdown.

The Chairman and CEO of Montreal-based Amaya stated that he is convinced US regulators will consider PokerStars in a different way under the new ownership.

Amaya holds licensure in several gambling markets throughout the world. We’re talking eighty different markets, folks, which is a big deal indeed. If you thought you’d seen the last of Poker Stars in the US, think again.

New Online Poker, Bingo and Sports Action at Bet365

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

There’s new action available at the mega online casino Bet365. As you’d imagine, there’s a new poker player offer, free bingo action and a large golf event taking wagers online right now. Here’s what you can expect!

Poker Action Offer

New players at the Bet365 poker room get €5 Free. All new signups are given the €5 bonus as cash in their account and no deposit or transfer is required to receive this free chip. 

Here’s what we saw when we checked this out ourselves. After opening a new player account, it’s as easy as creating a “poker at bet365 nickname” and the deposit is completed by the casino into the account right away. This is a great way to check out the online poker room before you decide whether it’s the one for you. You can easily use the bonus to play a good bit of low stakes games before you have to deposit.

If the poker scene is a good fit for you, by making a deposit or transfer into a new Bet365 account, you can also take advantage of the highly competitive €1,000 New Player Bonus. Not a lot of poker rooms online give away so much money when skill-based casino games are in the picture. The €1,000 New Player Bonus gives you a 200% bonus on the amount of your first deposit or money transfer up to €1,000.

 Additionally, any new player’s first deposit is rewarded with a free tournament token for the €100 New Depositor Free Roll. This is the perfect occasion to complement your existing bankroll and get you off to a good start playing against the massive pool of players at bet365’s virtual tables.

 Signing up is simple and takes only a few moments.

Sports Offer

There’s a huge golf event taking place in the US next weekend that actually starts now! The TPC Sawgrass event will be on offer with a wide selection of available wagers on hand. Simply check out the bet365 Sportsbook as the action unfolds. You might remember Tiger Woods surprisingly came out on top last year, as he’s been plagued with injuries and losses in the past years. It was an amazing event last year to say the least. The betting action as well the player action promises to be a very exciting one this year as well.

This event is massively popular with viewers, so action will be heavy online as well. Bringing out all the top players and carrying the largest prize purse in golf, there’s no doubt that all eyes will be on Bubba Watson, who just won the Masters. Race to Dubai winner Henrik Stenson is also expected to play well. Of course, the last US Open champion, Justin Rose, will be closely covered, as well as Rory McIlroy.

Online Bingo Offer

For those of you more social gaming online gambling fans out there, Bet365 Bingo has some action taking place that promises large bingo prizes. £10,000 Free Bingo games are taking place right now on Fridays during the month of May. Get moving, as this weekly event starts on the 9th. There are additional Fridays, of course – but the 16th and 23rd are invite-only. Win an entry and get 6 free bingo tickets. 

Invites are rewarded to 250 players that are selected in the bet365 Bingo weekly prize draws. You are able to get one prize draw ticket for each £5 that is bet in the Bargain Bingo, Catwalk, Kiss and Tell, Super Star Bonanza and even the Mojo Lounge.

There will be an additional 50 online casino bingo players selected through chat tournaments in The Catwalk and Kiss and Tell online halls. The top 5 players in every daily online bingo tournament that take place from Sunday to Thursday will win entry into the following £10,000 Free Bingo game.

 Take a look at these interesting promotions and others today at Bet365.

Last Chance for Holiday Promos at Bet365 Bingo and Poker

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

The time is now, right now! Hurry to Bet365 Casino today for your last chance at some serious Holiday Season related action at both Bet365 Poker and Bet365 Bingo.

Bet 365 Poker Room

Right now, you can play on the virtual Bet365 Poker tables for the chance to win amazing prizes, like a Samsung 3D TV, a PlayStation 4 and a luxury trip worth $5,000. And don’t forget about the online $50,000 Grand Prize Draw. There is still enough time to get in on the poker action where an impressive 1,000 prizes will be won by the end of the tournament. All you’ll have to do is complete your daily challenge playing at the Bet365 poker tables and give yourself the opportunity to win.

Taking part in this holiday timed event by playing all types of poker – cash games, sit and go’s, or even the Bet365 scheduled tournaments – you are in on the $50,000 Grand Prize Draw pool action wherein there are additional prizes to be given away left and right.

With time running out, you can score your daily challenge much faster, twice as fast that is, by playing on the virtual Bet 365 poker related Premium Table. And for the largest part, you have access to winning more, bigger and better prizes when you continue to play each and every day of the remaining event.

It’s easy to opt in, too. You simply log in to the bet365 Poker lobby and the Daily Challenge is right there and easy to see.

Bingo

For those of you looking for some online casino action that is a bit more low key than poker, be sure to check out the Bet365 Bingo room online.

Bet365 Bingo offers a great selection of holiday season games, including Jingle Bells Roll On and Xmas BOG2F, plus a daily game at 8PM each day (UK time zone). Timely named after the 12 Days of Christmas, they have a guaranteed £2,500 prize pot available. You can make your bingo action during the holiday season complete by playing select New Year games through the month of January, 2014.

UK players know the importance and festive fun associated with Boxing Day. The Bet365 Bingo Boxing Day Bingo Linx game with £26,000 is taking place (beginning the day after Christmas at 1030PM UK time zone).

As we’ve said, there’s still time. Just be sure to hurry and get your share of the holiday action at Bet365!

Bet365 Doubles Online Poker Purse to $200,000

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Online poker players taking bets through Bet365 should make sure they are completely aware that the prize pool now available at Bet365’s Premium Chase poker promo has now climbed up to at least $200,000 in cash prizes, having doubled its previous worth. This comes in the wake of mass popularity and large player pools. The action is definitely happening on one of the largest poker promos available online today.

Due to the spectacular success of this massive poker room’s latest event, the guaranteed prize pool has been, in fact, doubled. To join in on this event and  make your move toward claiming one of this event’s 5,000 guaranteed prizes, log into your existing Bet365 account (whether you are registered in casino, racing or other areas of the site) or create a new account using Bet365’s $1000 New Player Sign Up Bonus.

With more than 5,000 different prizes totaling more than $200,000, it will be much easier to win your share, if not the lion’s share. Even with so many players, skill-based play comes in very handy here. A lot can happen playing poker online, so be sure to take advantage of this promo by playing Premium Table cash games, as they boast twice the chance to win.

This is how it works: The 5,000 best ranking players in the event each become qualified for a prize (part of the pool) and the more players you overtake (outrank), the larger the value of prize/cash you can get. Be sure you opt in when you sign in to your account and always make sure your email is up to date. When playing in the Chase event, your position is decided by how many Coins you earn. You’ll be awarded with Merit Points to get the Coins. All cash tables with stakes up to $2/$4, £2/£4 or €2/€4 are included in the Chase event. Every variation and limit counts, including Pot Limit Omaha. We highly recommend you play the Premium Table cash games so you’ll earn twice the amount of Coins. The number of Coins needed to increase your prize is displayed right in the lobby.

This is a Chase event. Even though you are aiming to catch the player in front (outrank them), be cautious of others chasing you. If enough poker players get past you, your prize can easily fall back to a smaller one (you can even drop out of the chase completely). Try to stay ahead, play steady, check your status regularly.

At press time, this event has already doubled in value. The overall prize pool is still growing as the Premium Chase progresses in popularity. To track the values and standings we also recommend that you log in to the poker lobby at Bet365 to see the latest figure. Remember, this is a guaranteed event. It is certain to exceed $200,000 by the end of the event. There’s still plenty of time to get moving.

If poker is not your bag, remember Bet365 is a massive betting hub providing a full suite of online casino games, additional poker action that is nearly unparallel to any other poker hub online, and sports events (including racing and more) is all found under one brand where keeping track of your account is simple and easy.

Borgata Nabs First Online Gambling License

Monday, October 7th, 2013

With the start of legalized online casino gambling in the United States, it’s time we start paying closer to who has been given official permission to go live (beyond a partnership between online brands and brick ‘n mortar casinos).

First out of the gate is, arguably, Atlantic City’s most swanky gambling destination – the Borgata Hotel Casino. The Borgata is the first casino property in the New Jersey gambling market to gain full allowance to take wagers at the end of next month.

According to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, the well-known casino was the first to file a complete application to offer online gambling. The Borgata has chose bwin.party as its online brand partnership.

Gambling enthusiasts in New Jersey will have a little more on their plate than turkey during this year’s Thanksgiving Weekend, as the official launch date for wagering online will begin the morning of November 26 (so long as a trial period commencing on November 21st and lasting five days, goes off without too many hitches). The trial period will be free of real money wagering and works as a preview for players and a testing period for software and website operations. This is typical and practiced in other online gambling markets.

As will be in the case in all legislated US states, gamblers will have to be physically located within New Jersey’s boundaries to play for real money online. New Jersey stands to be the third state in the nation to offer online gambling (along with Nevada and Delaware), albeit New Jersey has the most highly anticipated launch with most every property set to go live as soon as permits are granted.

The enthusiasm in Atlantic City stems from simple necessity, designed to give the besieged casinos new revenue they so desperately need. Atlantic City’s casino revenue has sunk from a high of $5.2 billion in 2006 to little more than $3 billion in 2012 (and could very well continue to sink below that mark this year). Neighboring states providing brick and mortar competition, Superstorm Sandy and a handful of other damaging events has brought upon New Jersey the worst decline in tourism in the state’s history.

The Borgata definitely has a comfortable edge as the first licensed casino online. Even though most every other Atlantic City property has a partnership underway, licensing for these other casinos is likely to come some months after the November 26th launch, thus giving The Borgata a healthy headstart within the burgeoning New Jersey online gambling market.

Among the other operators that have applied for a license is Caesars Entertainment, which is partnering with 888 Holdings in New Jersey and already has its eye on interstate compacts. Looking to expand straight out of the gate, Caesars has the plan to work with Nevada, through the World Series of Poker brand (WSOP).

Worth noting, in partnership with Resorts Casino, PokerStars may be brought back to life with the US online poker market if New Jersey approves its license application. Poker gaming giant Poker Stars was seemingly put to bed after the huge Black Friday fallout with the US Justice Department. It just goes to show that the online gambling industry is gaining much steam, and further legislature in the US (whether on a State-by-State or federal basis) is only a matter of time.

Online Poker Casinos for US Players

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

play poker online with real moneyPoker is extremely popular worldwide these days. Sure, we’ve all probably witnessed the slot games that players that just can’t seem to get enough off either. But let’s not compare apples to oranges here. Unlike other casino games, poker does not come with a house edge attached to its proverbial swagger. Online poker casinos and land based poker rooms make their income off of the rake, which is typically a small take from the combined wagers generated from each hand played. What’s more, poker is a game where highly skilled players can make a good earning with relatively little risk. While being a constantly successful poker player or pro requires the commitment and restraint of a pro athlete, this is not a casino game void of potentially earning you sizable winnings.

And unlike many other casino games that have come and gone, poker doesn’t seem to be fading into the sunset. You’ve seen it played in movies for decades; You can now follow huge pro events online and in physical casinos alike, generating some of the highest earnings throughout any casino event ever witnessed; Your local charity even hosts poker shootouts and tourneys to help raise money for very important causes.

Whether you enjoy the uber-popular Texas Hold’em or Omaha, low stakes or high stakes tables, there is a poker game perfect for your playing needs and bankroll.

However, you will see a difference in specific game availability between online poker sites and land-based casinos. Texas Hold’em is found most anywhere at both types of casinos. While Omaha Hi/lo or Seven Card Stud can be found online, they typically are not found at brick and mortar casinos. At online casinos, especially those that focus on poker, you will likely find different versions of poker that include Three Card, Caribbean Stud and Let it Ride.

Consider the following when you play at online poker rooms: Caribbean Stud Poker poses players against the casino, and features a progressive jackpot that players have a chance at winning. There’s an intricate strategy involved in Caribbean Stud that many players find compelling. Let it Ride pays out through qualifying poker hands, so a player is not playing against the casino or even other poker players.

Whatever your interests are in poker, if you have an inkling to gamble at online poker casinos, there are many options for you. In fact, those options are ever increasing thanks to new legislation signed into law in many regions of the world, not to mention the explosion of online casinos on the cusp of regulation in a handful of US states. Heck, Nevada’s first online poker casino, Ultimate Poker, is now live, with more coming in the very near future. While Nevada’s online poker rooms will be open to Nevada residents only, there are a few highly accredited online casinos catering to US players, such as Club USA, which has a handful of Caribbean poker varieties, a Let it Ride style game, and Three Card Poker options. Another great US player option is Drake Casino (a few states are prohibited), where 3D gaming software creates an amazing, innovative online gaming experience like nothing else we’ve seen, technologically speaking. While Drake carries several slots in 3D at this time (using the BetSoft Gaming platform), be on the lookout for 3D effects coming via BetSoft’s software Poker3 soon.

Depending on your personal skill level and location, there will be certain online poker casinos that will be more accommodating than others. Some cater more towards the VIP player, while others look to provide a haven for newbies. But whatever your level of game-play, there will always be a sign up bonus involved – it’s overall value dependent on your bankroll. Always look for poker rooms online that offer guaranteed payouts, 24/7 action and tournaments, and of course, a large member base. Let’s face it – an online poker casino with a huge player cache must be doing its job above and beyond. Sites with less than stellar reputations will lack major player traffic, and frankly, should not make the cut.

As we’ve mentioned, the US market is opening slowly but surely, and is about to become a burgeoning market. You should know that many of the online gaming sites that were involved in the major US federal driven smack-down UIGEA (who formerly left the sector) have been effectively and lawfully taking bets elsewhere. As of late, many have even begun (some completed by now) to revamp and meet all the required licensing requirements in order to introduce themselves back into the fray of the burgeoning US casino market.

Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to understand that online poker sites – sites that are focused on poker versus slots and other casino games – will be the best places to find tournament-style games like Texas Hold’em. Be patient in the US, as there’s more to come where online poker casinos are involved!