US Casinos Celebrate Online Poker Shut-Down

One week ago, the Department of Justice effectively shut down the US online poker market leaving millions of Americans without a viable outlet to play their favourite game.
Added to the players’ misery is the fact that millions of dollars of their bankrolls are still currently frozen online, although both PokerStars and Full Tilt have said that withdrawals have now been approved by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara.
Click here for the current poker sites still in the US market.
Amidst all the fall-out from Black Friday, it would seem that casinos now stand to profit most from the situation, with many of them reporting modest gains in traffic over the past few days.
In Nevada, for instance, the Aria poker room has seen its popularity soar recently, with shift manager Danielle Hackney reporting  “wire-to-wire full of 24 tables since Friday,” as well as a 50% increase in their $125 twice-daily poker tournaments.
The same trend seems to have been noted up and down the country with John Griffo from the California Commerce Casino explaining:
“We saw a slight increase in traffic over the weekend. I mostly noticed it in our daily tournaments. We are sure the new players are all online players because they’re asking about our tournament structures because they are a little bit different than online tournaments. In tournaments we have seen a 15 percent increase in entries.”
Previously, US land-based casinos were united in their disapproval of online poker sites but recently threw their support behind Nevada Senator Harry Reid, who claimed online poker should be legalized, but with the licences going to:
“Providers that have an established track record of complying with a strict regulatory environment, have an established track record of providing fair games to consumers, and have significant goodwill and assets at stake, in addition to their Internet poker assets, to ensure they would comply strictly with the new regulatory regime.”
As rumours begin to circulate following the indictments against PokerStars, Full Tilt and Absolute Poker, some people are speculating that the industry may soon see Reid’s bill pushed forward with the big casinos then handed the opportunity to dominate the online industry. How much of a hand the big casinos may have had in the online poker sites shut-down is unknown, but as online poker industry expert Tim Flores explains:
“I’m not sure the land-based corporations are pushing this legal action. I’m sure they’re jumping for joy over it.”

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