On May 10, 2007, the American Gaming Association (AGA) released the State of the States Study of the casino market for 2006. Not only did the study show the growth of the casino gaming industry, it also showed that poker has achieved a remarkable development.
According to the study done by the AGA, the U.S. casino industry's total profits improved to about $32.42 billion last year. Along with profit growth, the poker market also showed an excellent approval rating with 82% of the study's respondents giving their approval of gaming.
Frank Fahrenkopf, the President and CEO of the American Gaming Association, said that the new State of the States Report emphasizes the good results of the casino gaming industry and the approval by the gaming public.
Profits from poker improved by about 15% compared to the results in 2005. Poker players spent a total of $238 million in casino poker in the states of Nevada and New Jersey with the 4 states that record card room profits announcing a $1.1 Billion profit last year.
Helping to contribute to that revenue are the 14% of the U.S. residents who are saying that they have played poker in over 700 poker card rooms in 5 states in the country like California, Florida, Minnesota, Montana and Washington.
Most people who said that they usually play poker with their family and friends stated that they play with them because it is an opportunity to socialize and bond with one another.
After socializing with your loved ones, the second most important reason that the respondents give for playing the game was the skill involved. A total of 21% of the respondents in the study gave that as one of their reasons.
The study also asked some questions regarding the legal status of poker in the United States especially with online poker. The answer to that question is mixed, reflecting the ongoing legal battle about the game in the U.S.
Because the game of poker utilizes both skill and chance, it is hard to say whether it is categorized under the same gambling regulations as games of luck. As a game that also uses some skill, it can be exempt from the online ban.
However, the current gambling law has also created some disarray in the ranks of the players. There are debates that online gaming is not under the Wire Act that prohibits placing wagers on the telephone. It is seen as a loophole in the law by some people, but the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed last year making it illegal for financial organizations in the United States to process gaming related transactions online.
However, this year, a proposal has been introduced in Congress that will require the Government to do a study to determine what their final stance on gambling should be.
Rep. Barney Frank has introduced a proposal that would allow and regulate online gaming in the United States. Rep. Robert Wexler is thinking of introducing a proposal that would exempt poker from the ban.