Nevada has won the race to be the first American state to launch the first legal online poker site using real money. Since Federal legislation for online gaming is moving at an extremely slow pace, many states have taken matters into their own hands and passed legislation to allow intra state online gambling. Several other states including Pennsylvania and Illinois are in the process of legalising online gambling while only three states have so far legalised it. These states are Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. New Jersey and Delaware have legalised casino games as well as online poker but Nevada has only legalised online poker. Plans to legalise internet poker have been ongoing for some time in Nevada.
The recently launched online poker site, UltimatePoker.com, is run by Ultimate Gaming which is owned by the Fertitta brothers, who also own the Station Casinos group. There are over twenty other companies working on launching online poker sites within Nevada but for the moment Ultimate Poker is the only one that is up and running and its Chief Executive Officer is hoping that it will set the standard for how online poker sites should be run in order to win the backing of players and the regulator.
In April 2011, American poker players experienced “Black Friday” when the federal authorities closed down three major off shore poker sites operating illegally in the United States. Since then poker players in the United States who continued to play online poker were breaking the law. However since the Ultimate Poker site is legal players know that their money is in safe hands on this regulated site. There are strict rules to be observed by players logging on to the online poker site. They must be over 21 years of age and players must provide a social security number as well as an address in Nevada. With forecasts of a regulated online poker industry in the United States possibly bringing in over 4 billion dollars during its first year of operation, the future may be bright for legal online poker.