Andrew Yang wants to legalize online poker in all 50 states and territories. Yang made the announcement during a trip to Las Vegas today.
Currently, online poker is governed by a patchwork of state-by-state regulations. It is fully legal in only four states: Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. This forces many of the millions of American players to use offshore poker sites, putting them at risk for exploitation. Legalization would provide clarity for vendors, protections for players, and tax revenue.
The potential size of a federally regulated US online poker market is significant, with reports estimating $2.2 billion just in the first year.
“Making online poker legal in all 50 states and territories is a win-win for everyone,” Yang said. “U.S. companies and players would benefit and new tax revenues could be used to mitigate addiction.”
“Americans are getting taken advantage of so much by these unregulated websites. People play them and they have no idea they’re getting scammed,” said well-known poker player Joey Ingram. “There is no regulation. There is no policing. There is no security. There’s a lot of shady activity happening. People who play don’t have many options.”
“He understands that people in the U.S. are going to find a way to play, so it’s just common sense to regulate it and create tax revenue that states aren’t getting now,” poker player Daniel Negreanu tweeted.
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