Online poker is the game of poker played over the Internet. It has been partly responsible for a dramatic increase in the number of poker players worldwide. Christiansen Capital Advisors stated online poker revenues grew from $82.7 million in 2001 to $2.4 billion in 2005. Traditional brick and mortar casinos with a poker room are few and far between – the reason being that they aren’t very profitable for the house; they only earn money through the rake, or the hourly charge. Often, they’d make much more money if they were to remove the poker room entirely and just put in more slot machines.
This isn’t the case with online poker in the United States. There’s minimal overhead charges, because of the following:
- Adding an extra table is virtually free. (No table costs, or space issues)
- There are no dealers. This means 100% of the rake is kicked back to the house.
- They can offer lower limits (as low as 2c), or even freerolls.
In 2006, Online Poker took a turn for the worse. Bush officially signed the Safe Port Act, which is specifically designed to regulate online gambling. Basically, it prohibits online gambling sites from performing any transactions at American financial institutions. Which has made it extraordinarily hard to find any US friendly poker sites.