Billionaire investor Mark Cuban appears confident that Monday’s Supreme Court decision to strike down a federal sports betting ban will help the game of poker. His comments echo those made by Phil Hellmuth, one of the most recognizable faces in the poker industry.
In an interview with CNBC, Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, predicted that the gaming industry at large will be able to capitalize on new business opportunities thanks to the ruling. According to Cuban, online poker could be a beneficiary.
“I’m not a constitutional lawyer,” Cuban said in a phone call, “but, you can see online poker all of a sudden…Someone is going to start up online poker again.”
“It’s going to be interesting,” Cuban added, “it’s going to be a [gambling] free-for-all. I guess that’s the only thing you can say with certainty.”
Currently, just four states—Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania—have approved legislation to regulate real-money online poker sites. New York, Connecticut and Michigan were all considering online poker even before the Supreme Court ruling. More could join the online poker conversation in the coming months.
The Supreme Court decision basically said that states have the right to legalize sports betting within their respective borders. It also gives them the ability to partner up to solve the complex regulatory issues surrounding sports betting. However, efforts are already underway on Capitol Hill to create some federal oversight, but that is by no means a requirement for sports betting proliferation. New Jersey, which led the efforts to repeal PASPA, expects to have legal sports bets in just a matter of weeks. Pennsylvania could be next in terms of implementation.
Online poker could hitch itself to the sports betting wave thanks to sports betting’s natural, and inevitable, presence over the internet. In New Jersey, for example, online wagering is increasingly becoming more and more vital to Atlantic City’s success. Revenue from the brick-and-mortar space is declining, while online gambling winnings are growing. Sports betting will only thrive with an online component. That paves the way for online poker.
Check out Cuban’s entire CNBC interview. The online poker talk comes at 7:15.