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Illegal Sites Hindering Online Market in the USA?

An interesting article appeared the other day that discussed the state of online poker in the states and how illegal sites operating within the USA are actually damaging the development and progress of regulated sites.

The East Coast Gaming Congress met on Monday in Atlantic City and the panel of experts expressed their opinions on how illegal offshore gambling sites continue to operate in the states, directly hurting the online gambling industry in the three states that have regulated markets (Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware).

New Jersey’s income from Internet gambling started falling in April and it took a hit of approximately half a million in comparison to March.

“Internet gambling exists in all 50 states today,” said David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. “It’s just not regulated.” reviewjournal.com

According to Rebuck, New Jersey recently sent cease-and-desist letters to offshore companies who advertise and offer their services to state residents, as regulation confines online gambling only to within the state. Richard Schuetz from California claims that more than one million people are playing online from that state and that equates to a $300-400 million industry that operates without proper regulation or any kind of taxation.

Check out our list of legal New Jersey poker sites where you can play poker for real money

One of the bigger problems in this ordeal, in Rebuck’s opinion, is the fact that regulated sites require a plethora of information from their users and a lot of people are very hesitant in giving away their social security numbers and credit card information. On the other hand, some of these illegal sites (as they insist on calling them) offer potential customers a chance to play without revealing a single piece of information.

Those sites exist. It is a valid concern.”

Rebuck is probably referring to Bitcoin and other virtual currency driven sites, which have gained a fair share of popularity in the US because they offer both anonymity and simple ways to get your funds online and start playing within minutes. While these sites may have risks and problems of their own, recreational players looking for some fun will probably not care about them as much as they care about sharing their important personal information with someone on the other side of the “wire.” Furthermore, according to a survey conducted by 888.com, only about 10 percent of people in New Jersey are even aware that Internet gambling is legal in their state.

Eamonn Toland, president of the Paddy Power betting company in the USA, expressed his opinion that multiple problems arising with credit card acceptance are also creating a big holdup for the industry, as people coming to play online have little time on their hands and they want to spend it having fun, not wasting three hours to deposit money online.

Despite all of this, the panel agreed that there is great growth potential for the industry in the states and that progress will come. Expectations, however, need to be realistic for the time being, as Schuetz emphasized.

The people who say it’s not doing well enough are like the two parents who look at their 5-month-old and say, ‘It doesn’t speak any languages!” Schuetz said. “Let’s get our expectations in line.” reviewjournal.com

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Ivan Potocki

Ivan is an aspiring journalist writer from Bosnia and Herzegovina. With a degree in English Literature and a fiery work ethic, Ivan adds a dynamic and flexible element to the PokerUpdate writing staff.

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