Given the contagious nature of the coronavirus, would nationwide online poker legislation be the perfect solution for cautious poker players who fear playing in a casino? “Rounders” screenwriter Brian Koppelman certainly thinks so, and he might be onto something.
The creator of poker’s most famous movie made the interesting suggestion on Twitter.
You know how there are compassionate use medicines? Well, the senate should allow compassionate use online poker right now. Let people play safely at home!
— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) March 8, 2020
One Twitter user responded with one word, “revolutionary.” Another agreed with Koppelman’s post and commented, “well said.”
Koppelman isn’t the first, nor will he be the last, to suggest online poker legislation as a solution for poker players in the US.
Current State of Online Poker in the US
While Koppelman may have a valid argument, don’t get your hopes up. The United States government doesn’t seem too concerned with the rights of poker players. Legal online poker is currently available in only four states — Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.
Michigan recently passed legislation, but the poker sites aren’t expected to launch until sometime in 2021. So, while we’ve seen some progress in recent years, the US still has a long way to go before internet poker is legal in all 50 states.
If you live in one of those four states and fear playing in a casino until the coronavirus scare passes, you’re in luck. But if you’re an American outside those areas, you’ll have to take your chances at your nearest casino or play at an unregulated online poker site such as Americas Cardroom or Bovada.
WSOP Unintentionally Prepared for Coronavirus?
Many poker players are concerned the 2020 WSOP will be canceled due to the coronavirus. While the WSOP hasn’t yet announced a cancelation or a guarantee that the series will take place as planned, they may have unintentionally prepared for the worst.
The 2020 WSOP schedule features 14 online bracelet events held on WSOP.com. Buy-ins for these events range from $400 to $10,000. So, even in the unlikely event the live series in Las Vegas is canceled, it’s likely the online poker events will still take place.
With that said, these tournaments are only available to those in Nevada and New Jersey. But at least it’s something should the coronavirus spread enough to force the WSOP’s first postponement in its 51-year history.
It’s still unknown how many people in the US will be harmed by the coronavirus. We’ll have a clearer picture in the coming weeks.