Good News, Nevada Agoraphobes! You (and Only You) Can Legally Play Poker Online!

Terrifying!Credit: Sprengben [why not get a friend] / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SAToday an online poker company in Nevada opened its site, allowing visitors to legally engage in Internet gambling. It’s a first. But the catch is, in order to engage in this legal online gambling, players need to physically be within the state of Nevada. So if you happen to be in Nevada but are terrified of the bells and whistles and buffets and drink specials and feather boas and street people thrusting fliers for prostitutes at you, you’re good to go!

As for the rest, oh well. Bloomberg Businessweek explains:

Online poker came to an abrupt halt on April 15, 2011—a day known in the industry as Black Friday—when the US. Department of Justice cracked down on the three biggest sites, shutting them down and freezing player accounts. Some players have continued to play illegally, risking that their money might be seized at any moment.

This won’t be an issue in Nevada any more. “Players won’t have to worry if their money is safe,” Ultimate Gaming Chief Executive Officer Tobin Prior told the AP. “They are going to be able to play with people they can trust and know the highest regulatory standards have been applied.”

Internet gaming has in fact been legal in Nevada, as well as in Delaware and New Jersey, for some months, but it has taken a while for states and companies to get their ducks in a row and actually make legal sites accessible to players. Online poker may be available in Delaware and New Jersey before the end of the year, according to Jennifer Webb, an analyst for Gambling Compliance.

In order to join the games at Ultimate Gaming’s poker site, players have to provide their Nevada address and a valid Social Security number. Feel free to speculate as to what sort of outside fraud may result from this restrictive and pointless effort to prevent people from other states from gambling online.

Below, ReasonTV on the politics of online gambling:

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  • Acosmist||

    When you have a welfare state, it makes sense to prevent an activity that might result in someone's becoming a burden.

    Same with smoking - if we're going to pay for your health care, we can tell you what you can't do.

    If you accept the welfare state, you accept a nanny state.

  • Calidissident||

    "When you have a welfare state, it makes sense to prevent an activity that might result in someone's becoming a burden."

    For the people who support both the welfare state and the nanny state, the former is definitely used to justify the latter. As someone who opposes the welfare state, I nonetheless think that in the presence of a welfare state, libertarians should not support further restrictions on liberty based on such logic.

  • ||

    libertarians should not support further restrictions on liberty based on such logic.

    Otherwise, they're basically Ann Coulter.

  • Hyperion||

    Well, except if you are one of the 'special elite political class', who is immune from those rules.

    Rules are for the serfs, not for us. Do as we say, not as we do, for the children, or some such self righteous shit.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    My take is very sideways of any of this:

    Agoraphobia is a mental illness.
    In order to gamble online, you first have to be mentally ill? Does that strike anybody as a good thing?

    Whatever. The state can't have it both ways. You can't force something on me and then complain I make it too expensive for you.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Online poker? I don't even online know her!

    Anyway, is this what the intersection of federalism and internet regulation would look like? And how can you tell if someone's bluffing if you can't see them? Avatars don't have tells. (Ooo, I should get into online poker and then write a book about it and use that as my title.)

  • Auric Demonocles||

    It's harder, but most people don't have Oreo-cookie or eye tic level tells anyway. Online it's typically based on betting history and maybe how long they took to make a decision. Personally when I played a lot at the lower levels I didn't really try to figure out who was bluffing. The play at cheap online games is so low you don't really need to to come out ahead.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You have a gambling problem.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    The problem is that I stopped doing it so much. One summer in undergrad I just played online poker overnight and made my money that way.

  • ||

    Exactly, tells are very overrated. People's betting patterns are way more indicative of the cards they hold, since most people can't mix up the way they play certain types of hands very well.

    Hell, most of the time "weak means strong, and strong means weak" will win the day at lower limits.

    I love watching people who haven't played so much as a live $1-2NL casino game opine on the virtues of poker of any stripe.

  • ||

    Yeah at low levels you can make some money just by playing tight no matter what, people threw away tiny bits of money. Still a couple of quarters here and there added up to some weekly beer money in me back before the new law drove a lot of people away.

    After that I used some software to track betting history but I wasn't really playing to make anymore, just have some fun playing some cheap tournaments.

  • ||

    The problem with beating low levels in live games is the rake is just back breaking. Actually, the fact that the casino has to set the rake at 10%-$4 max in order to provide the game is one of the reasons that online games are so much better. And once you add the option of rakeback...it's just head and shoulders above live play until you get to $10-20 levels (although then you really get into the difference of live stakes vs. online stakes and a ratio of about 10-1).

  • ||

    Yeah this was online and I was playing 3-4 tables at once. I put $25 in at the start of my freshman year and would cash out the surplus whenever I got to $100 (this was before the Bush era law when cashing out was instant). This lasted me until the cash out. I quit after that because I wasn't willing to put in the time and effort to grind it out plus four tables at a time became less and less fun.

  • ||

    This lasted me until the cash out law changed.

  • ||

    before poker stars shut down, playing 10+ tables was the norm.

  • ||

    Damn, I was hoping it would be based on IP address.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You were going to set up a proxy server business based out of Nevada?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Now she'll have to set up a proxy address business.

  • Top 15||

    Just for the record POKER IS NOT GAMBLING - its a game of truly sophisticated skill - a fascinating combination of math and human psychology. Which may be why so many financial market types are so good at it. If its gambling the winners at the WSOP and other events would be random - they are not. Part of the reason I plan to retire in Vegas (a few years from now and with a summer retreat of course) is so I can see if my poker sucess prior to black Friday was a luckey streak or really due to skill (I have had a successful 30 year career as a stock market analyst). I have gotten really rusty in the last couple years not being allowed to pursue my happiness via online poker. The only reason the Feds shut it down was to allow their cronies in the Nevada gaming industry to supplant the great entrpreneurs at Poker Stars, Full Tilt, Party Gaming, etc. that pioneered global internet poker - It was estimated that more than 10 million Amercans were playing regularly when they shut it down and it cost Jim Leach his safe congressional street b/cause 5% of his voters were poker players.

  • Acosmist||

    That doesn't prove poker isn't gambling at all levels. But you're right about the highest levels, and an indeterminate number of people below that level.

    Amusingly enough, luck plays a part in chess, as any experienced player could tell you, but that's not considered gambling.

  • Bam!||

    That doesn't prove poker isn't gambling at all levels. But you're right about the highest levels, and an indeterminate number of people below that level.

    Even that isn't true. The top level pros still go through down swings occasionally. I remember when durrr went through one at the start of 09, I think.

    Even at the highest level, luck does play a significant role.

  • ||

    Risk plays a significant role. Randomness plays a significant role. If it didn't there wouldn't be games because the losing players would never have winning days.

    I remember a story about how Stu Ungar came to Vegas to play one of the best Gin players in the world. Stu destroyed him so badly that the guy quit him, refused to play him because he knew he couldn't beat him. Eventually, Stu beat everyone and word spread and he couldn't get a Gin game.

    That's why Stu had to start playing poker.

  • prolefeed||

    Amusingly enough, luck plays a part in chess, as any experienced player could tell you, but that's not considered gambling.

    The only "luck" in chess is who you draw as an opponent in tournaments.

    Play the same game, over and over, and you will always get the same outcome.

  • ||

    Exactly, chess is a game of perfect information.

    Poker is a game of imperfect information.

  • Acosmist||

    With so many possibilities in chess, that's just not a very relevant thing to say.

    Luck definitely plays a role in chess. You don't know what trick your opponent will miss, what tactic he'll underestimate. Sometimes, the objectively wrong move works out.

  • ||

    The objectively wrong move does not work out in the same way it does in poker, which results in bad players using "results based thinking."

    "I called with this hand, and it won, therefore it is was a good decision."

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I'm about to something contrary and libertarian and agree by disagreeing but poker is gambling. Anything you wager money on is gambling, whether it's poker, ponies, or putt-putt.

    Poker is a game, but like any other game, in order to make money at it, requires skill that casual players don't have. The problem with online poker was that Uncle Sam wasn't getting his cut and as we all know the only crime worse than treason in America is tax evasion.

  • John Thacker||

    Right, poker is gambling, and poker is a game. It's a game of skill, rather than a game of pure chance, and that is significant in many states' laws.

  • Mykeuva||

    I think people always focus on the winning portion of poker when discussing whether or not it's gambling.

    An interesting argument I heard went something along the lines of:

    Forget winning, let's talk about losing in poker. In poker, if you wanted, you can sit down and lose every single hand, never win a dime. Name another gambling game you can do that with. Even the lottery you can get lucky and win. Roulette, same thing. Any of these pure gambling games you cannot affect the outcome of making sure you lose. But in poker, you most certainly can. There has to be a difference drawn between poker and these other types of activities we deem as "gambling."

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    In poker, if you wanted, you can sit down and lose every single hand, never win a dime. Name another gambling game you can do that with.

    Blackjack.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Actually you can't guarantee you lose *every* hand. At some point the blinds put you all in and you can't fold.

  • Hyperion||

    Shiite, man. For me Spider Solitaire with 4 suits is science. It's damn challenging.

  • John||

    IF it is such a game of skill why don't a small set of people always win the World Series of Poker? It seems like every year someone who have never heard of gets on a roll and wins. There hasn't been a repeat winner since 1997. Back in the early 70s and 80s, the same people won. But the event was a lot smaller. When it got big, the winners became more random. That argues against it being mostly about kill. There is a certain level of skill that it takes to win something like that. Once you have that, it is a question of luck whether you do. There really isn't any difference in skill among the best players. Not in the same way that there is a difference between say the best tennis player and the 20th best player.

  • prolefeed||

    Because there is an element of luck -- you can have THE killer starting hand, A-A, and still lose if you get a bad beat.

    And when you have several hundred talented players of roughly the same skill, who claws their way to the top depends to some extent on who gets lucky.

  • ||

    Well yes, tournaments are probably the most volatile for of poker and players their--even successful ones--will experience very large swings even over long periods of time.

  • trig||

    Hah.. I think you're looking at this the wrong way. Poker is gambling, and so is investing in the stock market, forex, etc.

  • ||

    I'm gonna start a new Vegas! With hookers! And blackjack! In fact, forget the blackjack!

  • Hyperion||

    Who needs blackjack when you have hookers and blow, and beer, and weed, and whatever the fuck we want.

    generic Brand for POTUS!

  • ||

    Several years ago there was an article in a British paper about the use of WD-40* to stop people from snorting coke off of toilet seats in pubs. The comments were predictably hilarious with a bunch of Germans going "Oh god, we knew British were filthy, why would you snort something off the toilet seat!?" and the Americans asking "Wait, do you not have hookers asses in the UK?"

    *Not the article I read.

  • Hyperion||

    Several years ago there was an article in a British paper about the use of WD-40* to stop people from snorting coke off of toilet seats in pubs

    Yes, like that is totally the function of government. The Eurotards, and especially their counterparts down under, have nearly reached peak stupidity, and we are chasing the dream.

  • ||

    I don't know if I have a problem with this. The police aren't going door to door and spraying WD40. The pub owners in that and another article I read seemed annoyed with cokeheads being disruptive in their establishments. If the police are handing out advice on how to deal with a nuisance to the pub owners I don't think they're doing anything wrong.

    From the BBC:

    They (cocaine users) are loud and obnoxious. They are out of place, they don't fit in with the rest of the people in here.

    Although mostly I just liked the "wait you don't have hookers' asses in the UK" bit.

  • Hyperion||

    The police aren't going door to door and spraying WD40

    They're going to be doing a hell of a lot worse than that when Obozocare completely kicks in.

  • John||

    I am surprised people don't gamble on those big online multi player games.

  • ||

    They aren't really competitive in that way. They operate more as a team sport. There are player vs. player tournaments and an entity called "Major League Gaming."

    It's huge in Korea.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I am undefeated at Settlers, 11-0, even though there were some rules the people I started playing with didn't explain to me until halfway through game 5 or so and I tried to do something illegal.

    I'm pretty sure I'll never play again.

  • John||

    Interesting piece on reactionary Republicans

    Berkowitz’s thinking — which Rubin shares — is a pluperfect example of what led a couple generations of American leaders to believe the Soviet Union was here to stay. Those were the folks rolling their eyes in their supposed sophistication when President Reagan insisted the Soviets were headed to the “ash heap of history.” Only to watch astonished as the Berlin Wall came down followed shortly thereafter by the Soviet flag over the Kremlin. Precisely as Reagan predicted.

    http://spectator.org/archives/.....ublicans/1

    I sense that when the liberal state does come crashing down, it will be like the Soviet Union and be very quick and totally unexpected by right thinking people. The fact that liberals have gotten so fanatical and dogmatic is not a sign of strength.

  • Hyperion||

    I sense that when the liberal state does come crashing down, it will be like the Soviet Union and be very quick and totally unexpected

    One can only hope for such a merciful scenario. It's unlikely. What is likely, will be much more drawn out and painful.

  • John||

    I am not so sure. The liberal state is built on the idea that all of its costs are totally hidden from voters. Once voters start seeing the costs, they will turn on it very quickly.

  • Hyperion||

    We can hope so, but I think that so called 'liberal' voters will continue to vote Dem, until the very bitter end. They refuse to accept reality, that is what their entire existence is based upon, a totally unsustainable alternate reality.

    It's only when the free shit runs out, that the behemoth will start to fall down.

  • John||

    For some for sure. I think that is about 40% of the population. About 40% are right leaning of libertarian. The future lies with the other 20 percent of low information voters who just go with the wind.

  • John||

    I take that back. It is not 20 percent low information voters. It is 42 percent retarded voters.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/po.....e-its-law/

    I swear to God half the people who voted for Obama don't even know he is a Democrat and think he is a conservative.

  • Hyperion||

    It's more like 80% retarded voters. Sorry to say, even most of those who vote correctly, have no fucking idea why they are doing so.

    Only about 20% of Americans have intelligence level above that of a squirrel. I'm sorry to say that, but it's true. Most Americans, are fucking retarded. But we shouldn't feel too bad, that's probably better than the world average.

  • Calidissident||

    Until the Republicans (or hypothetically some other party that became a major party) offer a legitimate small government alternative, nothing will change. Don't get me wrong, I think the voting populace has a lot of responsibility for why there isn't a viable party that is actually pro-small government. But I don't think we can assume that a hypothetical change in voter attitudes would necessarily mean an instant and drastic change by the GOP. The GOP establishment would fight tooth and nail to resist it

  • WomSom||

    OK wow lets roll that beautiful bean footage!

    www.GoGetAnon.tk

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