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Ultimate Poker to become first legal, real-money online poker site in US

Online GamblingOnline Gambling: Ultimate Poker to become first legal, real-money online poker site in US
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But you have to be physically present within the state of Nevada to play

On Tuesday, UltimatePoker.com is expected to launch what will become the country's first fully legal online poker site, with one major catch: it will be limited to those physically present within the state of Nevada.

Neither the site nor state regulators have said precisely what means they will use to determine a player's location, but Nevada state officials said previously that it would be far more extensive than simple IP-based geo-location.

"This is an important day for the gaming industry," Ultimate Poker Chairman Tom Breitling said Monday in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "We're the first, not only in Nevada but in America, to offer real money poker in a regulated environment."

Breitling and other executives will be on a press conference call that Ars will participate in later Tuesday morning, and we will update our story with more details.

"Nevada is now the first state to accept legal, regulated interactive wagers," A.G. Burnett, the chair of the Nevada State Gaming Control Board, said. "It's a big day and I'm proud of the state."

The launch of the new site marks a significant change since April 2011's "Black Friday," the infamous day in the poker world when federal criminal and civil charges were brought against three major poker sites and their associates, and $3 billion in assets were seized. The government alleged that these sites were in violation of a 2006-era federal law forbidding companies knowingly accepting payments for illegal online gambling. As a consequence, nearly all overseas poker sites refuse to do business with players coming from American IP addresses.

A deal's a deal

Later in 2011, however, the United States Department of Justice released a famous memo allowing individual states to authorize and regulate online gambling within their own state borders. Earlier this year, the Silver State's governor signed such a bill into law — New Jersey and Delaware now also have similar laws on their books, but Nevada is the first to go live with an authorized online gambling site.

The law also allows for states to engage in "compacts," or agreements with one another, which could create a patchwork of states where online gambling is legal. For now, Nevada's laws only specifically authorize online poker, while New Jersey and Delaware will include a larger suite of casino games, including poker.

For now though, at least some big-time professional poker players — many of whom have left the United States so they can play in other countries where online poker is already legal — say that the new online games (even including New Jersey) are too small for the time being.

"[I won't move back to Nevada] until there is enough money and large enough high stakes tournaments running on the sites, which may take years depending on how the laws are structured and how difficult they make it for other states to band together and create larger prize pools," Matthew Stout, one of the top-ranked poker players worldwide, said. After Black Friday, he moved first to Costa Rica, and later to the Netherlands, just so he could play online poker full-time.

"Think of it like the Mega Millions and other multi-state lottery programs," he added. "They'd never be able to boast these gigantic nine-figure jackpots if they had to keep all lotteries intrastate. Likewise, there won't be enough money for tournament players to win until the prize pools are large enough."

Chris Derossi, Ultimate Poker's chief technology officer (and former chief architect of Macintosh system software, leading the design team for Mac OS 7.1), briefly described how this would be enforced.

"They include your network [IP address], to the location of your mobile phone device and some stuff that we can't talk about," he said. "We do require that players have a mobile device that we can locate through the mobile networks."

He clarified that the company was partnering with Locaid, a San Francisco startup that works directly with mobile phone carriers to ping phones as a way to determine their location.

Ars Technica, Lottery Post Staff

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36 comments. Last comment 11 months ago by Astekblue.
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United States
Member #116272
September 7, 2011
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Posted: April 30, 2013, 3:24 pm - IP Logged

Let the games begin.

    whiteballz's avatar - Lottery-015.jpg
    Nutley, New Jersey
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    Posted: April 30, 2013, 5:58 pm - IP Logged

    I can imagine a bunch of VPNs will be set up in the state of Nevada.

    .

      Avatar
      Kentucky
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      February 14, 2006
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      Posted: April 30, 2013, 11:38 pm - IP Logged

      That's a start, but it will probably take years before all the states will realize that taxing Online poker is a cash cow.

        RedStang's avatar - mustangstu zps4c591ef5.jpg
        Dutchess , NY
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        January 21, 2012
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        Posted: May 1, 2013, 12:56 am - IP Logged

        Never liked UP. Bring back bodog.

          helpmewin's avatar - dandy
          DON'T HATE THE PLAYA HATE THE GAME
          u$a
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          Posted: May 1, 2013, 2:43 am - IP Logged

          Let the games begin.

          I Agree!

            BaristaExpress's avatar - BaristaExpressMX zpsfb0d8b5d.png
            Magnolia, Delaware
            United States
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            July 20, 2005
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            Posted: May 1, 2013, 7:24 am - IP Logged

            So settng up VPN's won't do any good if you knew how to understand the statement below from the article!!!!!

            "They include your network [IP address], to the location of your mobile phone device and some stuff that we can't talk about," he said. "We do require that players have a mobile device that we can locate through the mobile networks."

            I guess some just don't comprehend what they read very well...........

            Keep dreaming the impossible dream, it just may come true! Thumbs Up

              CARBOB's avatar - FL LOTTERY_LOGO.png
              ORLANDO, FLORIDA
              United States
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              June 3, 2004
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              Posted: May 1, 2013, 7:31 am - IP Logged

              That's a start, but it will probably take years before all the states will realize that taxing Online poker is a cash cow.

              I agree with the cash cow part, but not on the length of time. Maybe, one year at the most, if Nv publishes the amout of money they collected. You know, politicians are one greedy bunch, including Replublicans. Let me take a stab at the next state, IL.

                whiteballz's avatar - Lottery-015.jpg
                Nutley, New Jersey
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                August 1, 2012
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                Posted: May 1, 2013, 9:26 am - IP Logged

                So settng up VPN's won't do any good if you knew how to understand the statement below from the article!!!!!

                "They include your network [IP address], to the location of your mobile phone device and some stuff that we can't talk about," he said. "We do require that players have a mobile device that we can locate through the mobile networks."

                I guess some just don't comprehend what they read very well...........

                all I wrote was, "I can imagine a bunch of VPNs will be set up in the state of Nevada."

                That is all I wrote and nothing more. Do not read more into what I wrote.

                I never wrote that using a VPN and only a VPN alone was some kind of magic bullet that would circumvent all the security measures that would be designed to prevent out of state poker players from playing online poker.

                Read what I wrote again and show me where I said that using a VPN and a VPN alone would get you around all the security measures. You won't find anything like that in what I wrote.

                Perhaps the use of a VPN in conjunction with some other method, for example but not limited to, buying a cheap pre-paid cell phone from Wal-mart and storing it in a Nevada location, etc, etc, etc....may allow someone outside of Nevada to play online poker or then again, there may be no way to get around the security measures but that doesn't mean people will not set up VPNs in Nevada in an attempt to try. All this is beside the point because all I wrote was:

                "I can imagine a bunch of VPNs will be set up in the state of Nevada."

                If you came to the conclusion that I was saying using a VPN alone was going to get you passed all the security measures then that is your own fault because I never wrote that.

                .

                  whiteballz's avatar - Lottery-015.jpg
                  Nutley, New Jersey
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                  August 1, 2012
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                  Posted: May 1, 2013, 10:22 am - IP Logged

                  helpmewin are you speaking from experience? Wink

                  .


                    United States
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                    September 7, 2011
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                    Posted: May 1, 2013, 10:37 am - IP Logged

                    Nevada is my favorite place to get service. Yes Nod


                      United States
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                      Posted: May 1, 2013, 10:38 am - IP Logged

                                 Stooges

                                   JAMMY      BONEY         MED


                        United States
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                        September 7, 2011
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                        Posted: May 1, 2013, 10:39 am - IP Logged

                                            See Ya!

                          whiteballz's avatar - Lottery-015.jpg
                          Nutley, New Jersey
                          United States
                          Member #131063
                          August 1, 2012
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                          Posted: May 1, 2013, 10:43 am - IP Logged

                          I was only kidding with you.

                          .

                            helpmewin's avatar - dandy
                            DON'T HATE THE PLAYA HATE THE GAME
                            u$a
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                            February 22, 2011
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                            Posted: May 1, 2013, 10:46 am - IP Logged

                                                See Ya!

                                                          See Ya!