When World Poker Tour head honcho, Adam Pliska, and the guys who run PartyPoker are smiling about the future of online gaming in the United States, you can bet they know something about the internet poker law and the online poker ban that the rest of us don’t (or they have come up with a slick way around it). In a story that ran at the “Online Casino Reports” and at Yahoo News, entitled “World Poker Tour Gears up for US Regulation”, Jim Ryan, PartyGaming CEO, said the following, “"We are excited about the opportunities that WPT, a proven marketing channel for the Group, will create for PartyGaming, particularly if the US regulates and licenses online gaming." You will notice the word “if” that he placed in the last part of the statement. PartyGaming bought the WPT for $12.3 million. This effectively got them back into the American market after they made an agreement a few years back with the US Government to stop trading in the United States. Executives at his level don’t often pay $12.3 million for an “if”.
Here is some speculation regarding the WPT, PartyPoker, and what may happen over the course of the next year. Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid, is about as popular in his Las Vegas district as the Ebola virus. Unfortunately for him he is also facing a very tough election in 10 very short months. Not only is he unpopular, but according to legitimate polling organizations like Rasmussen, Obama and his policies are about as admired among the people as a plague of dust mites. They are going to have to do something to get a chunk of the population back on their side before the 2010 November elections or lose their majority. I am guessing that “something” may be lifting the online poker ban and crafting internet poker law that is aimed toward regulation, not a complete ban of the practice.
Adam Pliska is not only a stellar executive, but also a very politically savvy guy, if he is starting to talk about regulation and licensing, or is on board with that conversation, there is a good chance it is closer to reality then simply being a blind wish. We can only hope for this change in 2010.