Anyone in the online poker or gambling world remembers all too well the events of April 15 2011 which has now become known as “Black Friday”. This was the infamous day that the federal authorities indicted three major online pokers operators: Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. This in effect led the cessation of most online poker in the U.S.

Many thought at the time that this would put an end to any hopes of a serious online poker revival anytime soon. Well this situation was changed by a dramatic ruling by the U.S. Justice Department last year December when they reviewed their stance on the Wire Act of 1961. This in effect led to the possibility of individual states putting in place legislation that would enable online poker to be legalized.

This new situation according to Communications Director at PokerSites.com, Robert Stern is promising ,” We are seeing more and more people realizing that online gambling is here to stay and are more comfortable accessing online poker now that that US states are legislating to clear up any gray area. PokerSites.com has been online since 1995 and we have carefully watched the fluctuations and trends of online gambling — and online poker in particular — to always provide players with the latest legal information and to ensure that they always have access to an impartial resource on where the best poker sites are.”

Online gambling in the U.S is estimated to be worth over $4 billion with U.S. players just waiting to join the global online gambling market which was estimated to be worth at least $32.8 billion in 2011.

This ruling by the Justice Department has led to many U.S. states lining up to get a share of the huge gambling revenues. States like Nevada and Delaware have passed legislation which would legalize online gambling. Added to this is the recent settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and PokerStars to acquire Full Tilt Poker. The deal would see PokerStars pay over $547 million to the U.S. Government which would be used in part to reimburse U.S. customers of Full Tilt Poker whose accounts were frozen. A further $184 million will go to reimbursing non U.S. Full Tilt customers.

Taking these developments into consideration it seems that the future of online poker and online gambling in general is set to continue to increase in popularity. Both the individual states and the gambling companies have it in their interests to have a regulated and controlled online gambling market as soon as possible which would see everyone walking away a winner.

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