British gamers who played online poker prior to 2011 likely have fond memories of sitting at a virtual table with one or more Americans. The American penchant for reckless gambling combined with an excess of disposable income and confidence made them a welcome (and profitable) presence at the tables. Unfortunately, with the crackdown of the American government via the Department of Justice shutdown of the Full Tilt and Poker Stars operations in the United States in April 2011, it has been difficult for Brits (whose government is far more practical about the matter) to find networks that serve Americans and are legal within the United Kingdom.
Last year, it seemed as though some of the state governments in the United States were starting to come around to the idea of regulated, legal online gaming, much like the U.K. has had for years. Some states, such as California, have had legislation in the works but have yet to pass anything. Other states, such as New Jersey and Nevada (home of Las Vegas), have regulated online poker platforms in their respective states.
The problem with the poker platforms in Nevada and New Jersey (at least as far as Brits are concerned) is the fact that players are legally required to be physically in the state to play. While this does mean that any British gamers who happen to be in Las Vegas can play online, they will not be able to do so upon returning home. These so-called “intrastate” player pools are the result of complex lobbying and other political factors in the United States, ultimately preventing gamers in the U.K. or elsewhere from joining in on American online poker action.
For the time being at least, it seems as though gamers in the U.K. will have to wait a while longer before they can once again join Americans at the virtual tables (or take a trip to Atlantic City or Las Vegas). However, international online gaming platforms, such as 888, that are already partnering with Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos are looking to aggressively expand in the near future. Hopefully, this plan will include the international community sooner rather than later.