Back in the early to mid 2000’s, things were good. They were really good. The world had money and they weren’t afraid to blow it. Thankfully, many chose to blow theirs at the online poker site that I was promoting.
My poker promoting career began with a magazine. No, not an online magazine, a real one that you could hold in your hand and read while you visited the jon. After just three issues, I sold the rag and moved on to producing an online poker TV show. This sent my family packing to Vegas.
The show was quite successful, as far online TV went. This was pre-YouTube and very few of us were producing television for the Internet. For the first couple of years, I was the only one producing online content related to poker. Poker pro Daniel Negreanu was a regular on my show. Ya, that helped. Having guest appearances by some of Hollywood’s elite also helped. I had Paris Hilton, Shannon Elizabeth, Jennifer Tilly, and list of other Tinseltown hotties.
Life was good.
Then one morning in 2006, I woke up to read about the passing of the Safe Port Act. Buried inside that new law was a tiny piece of legislation called the Anti Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, a banking law responsible for making it difficult for U.S. gamblers to fund their offshore accounts. The players stopped playing. The advertisers stopped buying ads. My days of hobnobbing with celebrities and cashing in on World Series of Poker wannabes came to a crashing halt.
Within weeks, my family packed up and we waved goodbye to Sin City.
For the past five years, I thought that my days of promoting the game I love were nothing but a memory. That all changed a few days ago.
On Friday, the Department of Justice released a legal memorandum clarifying that the 1961 Wire Act refers to sports betting only. The Wire Act prohibits wagering using telecommunication lines and was later interrupted to include the Internet. Previous interpretations of the Act had slanted toward including all forms of gambling, leaving online casinos and poker in a gray area.
In a recent blog post, gambling consultant I. Nelson Rose (no relation) wrote, “The United States Department of Justice (“DoJ”) has given the online gaming community a big, big present”.
So, what does this mean for previous online poker affiliates, like myself? Good question. The Obama administration left it in the hands of the states. Some believe that the absence of a state law means there is nothing blocking the way for companies to pop up with stateside gambling sites, but others believe waiting for intra-state legislation is the way to go.
Will a new drove of U.S. based online casinos and poker rooms pop up in 2012? If so, it will create a very lucrative opportunity for affiliate marketers. Only time will tell, but I sure do hope so.