This time of year many blogs have year-in-review posts. I'm going to pass on that trend in that Hell's Cold Day hasn't been around long enough to comment on '07. However, I will take this opportunity to look to the future and voice one prediction for 2008.
On-line gambling, at least as it pertains to poker, will become perfectly legal. I'm saying the legislation that hurt the on-line poker scene, which I previously blogged about, will be overturned. I'm also saying that on-line poker will be explicitly stated as legal and formally taxed. When this happens I expect US based poker rooms to gain market share over those abroad. I expect sites like Harrahs.com and Binions.com to win out over PartyPoker.com and other overseas sites. FullTilt and PokerStars will continue to thrive if they keep the television pros' endorsement.
This will be a good thing, despite taxation. For one, we will no longer be out-laws. The sites will also face the same regulations of major US casino's. As it is now, if PokerStars decided to cancel my account and not allow me to withdraw my bankroll, I have no one to turn to. The courts and the Better Business Bureau aren't going to assist me with a currently illegal activity.
Why do I think this will happen? The poker community has been lobbying very actively this past year and from what I've heard, most congressmen are on board. This all started with pork-barrel legislation (well if not started, at least escalated) which is increasingly frowned upon by the public. Top all that off with the substantial financial swing this would bring to our national debit and economy—legalizing on-line gambling would get us out of the looming payout to the European Union and open up a new tax avenue—I say the time is now.
You gottta admit, it is at least more likely than legalizing marijuana when they are all but outlawing nicotine these days. Mark my words, on-line players, this will be the year that you will be brought back into the fold.