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The Current Threat to US Online Poker

In Washington, DC, elected American officials want to put an end to your fun. While that may not exactly be their campaign slogan, if some of them get their way it might be the end result. There are a number of bills under review in the United States Congress that could put an end to the way that online poker is played and the industry is run today. Online poker has always held a murky position legally in the US, and it is the goal of some officials to clear it up and put it away for good.

The global online poker industry is sitting somewhere around $22 billion USD in profit for this year, and the United States is seeing pretty much $0 USD of it, due to the fact that no company that runs an online poker room can do so from inside the US borders. Despite the fact that poker is a legal sport at many casinos across the nation, the online version of it remains a technical illegality. Ironically the bulk of online poker players live in the US, estimates ranging from around 70% to 80%.

While many professional poker players make their living at live poker tournaments, there are plenty who supplement that income from online play. Many of the big names in poker benefit from online play through endorsements as well, or actually being a part of the site's operations, such as Chris Ferguson, Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu and Gus Hanson, among many, many others. Recently Ferguson, along with Howard Lederer and Greg Raymer, decided to take a stand against the pending legislation, appearing at a press junket along side members of the Poker Players Alliance. The press appearance was designed to get the word out to Congress and any and all who care; online poker play could be a healthy shot in the arm for the US economy, it is the source of income for a growing population of Americans, and it is just plain fun. Only time will tell if their appeal was heeded by those in Washington.

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