The only legal gaming web site in the United States is a success so far, despite some players who plan to continue playing abroad and avoid being taxed.
It was one of the largest crackdown's on illegal online gambling to date when the FBI shut down three internet poker sites in April of 2011. Players across the country lost their money and some lost their livelihood. Owen Glenn, an online poker player, says it was like the government took his job.
Glenn has made a career out of playing online poker and when the sites were shut down he left the country to continue playing. More than two years later Glenn still lives in Panama and says he doesn't consider playing poker a gamble, "You can't beat the house, but you can beat really bad poker players."
Glenn doesn't plan on coming back to Nevada to play on the now legal poker site, UltimatePoker.com, at least not yet, "It's gonna have to be as good or better than the sites I'm playing on abroad."
According to Ultimate Gaming CEO, Tobin Prior the site has been successful since it launched at the end of April. Prior says 26,000 players have registered, more than 7 million hands have been played and thousands of tournaments have been executed.
Prior also said, "We are proving in Nevada that you can regulate online poker and you can run it in a safe and secure environment and you can put your money with people you trust."
Players may feel confident about where their money is, but they will also be taxed on their winnings, now that the government can see how much players are earning. Glenn says that's one reason he is staying put, because he's exempt from taxes on winnings up to $90,000.
Meanwhile, Prior says he is already seeing big players using his site, "I think we are taking positive steps in bringing that business back home and those people to come back home."
Glenn does see Ultimate Poker in his future, but he is waiting and hoping for the whole country to be a part of the game. For now only Nevada residents can play Ultimate Poker and Glenn says that limits the playing pool, "They have to have a whole entire network of everyone playing together, because that's how it was before and those companies were really successful."
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