Congress is seriously looking at legalizing online "gambling". In the wake of Black Friday, any move towards getting online poker legalized, and regulated, is a welcome step. However, I'm hesitant to lump 'gambling' in with poker. Those in the know (read: readers of this blog) know that poker is a skill game with luck playing a diminishing part as time goes on. That's why this article intrigues me when I see John Kyl, an adamant opponent to online gambling of any form, is making a clear distinction between poker and general gambling games like Blackjack or Craps.
The ultimate prize, in my opinion, would be for the public to finally understand the nature of poker, separate it from general gambling, and legalize it online along with heavy regulation. Even better would be if the rake online would be nationally capped at a decent amount that isn't onerous (10% to $5 max would be acceptable to me). Regulation helps avoid the cheating scandals that have marred the industry recently (UB, I'm looking at you), though online collusion is still an issue.
What's even more intriguing, however, is the idea that nationalized legal online poker on the Federal level might pave the way for legalized brick and mortat poker in every state. I salivate just typing that. I long for the day when, just as in California, legal poker with professional dealers is available within a 30 minute drive of nearly anywhere in the country. It remains to be seen if legalized online poker will lead to legalized B&M poker, and I have serious doubts it will. Nevertheless, just a chance of it happening is enough to make me anxious to see the outcome.