The only legal and regulated online website in the United States for playing poker for money was launched last Tuesday, April 30.
Two days later the website registered its 100,000 player.
Players from every state and 19 other countries are in he mix even though a player has to physically be in the state of Nevada to play.
And some said the poker craze was over
Ultimate Poker is the website and Station Casinos owns 57 percent of the site.
Tom Breitling is the chairman of Ultimate Poker and he owns 14 percent of the company.
The site offers limit and no-limit Texas Hold 'em poker in single table cash games, sit-and-go events and tournaments. The first tournament was offered last Sunday with a prize pool of $10,000.
The site collects revenue from a rake of each pot of live play and entry fees for tournaments.
Players must be 21 or older to register and plans to offer compacts with other state governments so players from those states can play from home are in process. California and New Jersey are the first states targeted for compacts since both states already engage in compacts for other subjects and both have a lot of poker-playing residents.
Assembly Bill 114 was approved and signed by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval in February that will allow the state to sign interactive gaming compacts with other states.
Station Casinos is also working on plans to tie its players' club program into activity on Ultimate Poker.
Activity on the site has exceeded the expectations of everyone connected to the website and everyone else. Presently the site has 50 tables available with a maximum of 10 players per table.
What will happen once the interactive gaming compacts with other states are signed, is anyone's guess at this point.
This may trigger legislation in other states to approve legalized online poker play since they would like to capture a piece of this pie rather that allow it all to flow into Nevada.
This is a trial run for Nevada. At the one-month mark, the politicians in Nevada and the State Gaming Commission will look at the results and see what changes, if any, need to be made.
This Nevada action will probably signal the demise of any federal action on forming rules and regulations on a federal level.
The income from the site will be subject to Nevada state and federal taxes and it is assumed that information on individual players will be available to both state and federal tax agencies, just like it is in real life casinos.
Currently Nevada has no state taxes on individuals. What the state's and the site's responsibility for informing other states taxing agencies for winnings accumulated by the states players while in Nevada is not clear. Presently casinos are required to issue W-2G or 1099-Misc. forms to the IRS when a certain accumulated total win figure is reached by an individual. Since those forms are reported to the IRS, the information should be reported by the individuals on their personal income tax forms and that information then flows onto the player's state tax forms, if the state taxes income, like all but six states do now.
I only hope that the taxing agencies will consider tournament winnings as gambling wins and not contest prizes, like the IRS does currently.
Player wins from cash play would continue to be reported as gambling wins. There is no requirement for present gambling sites to record an individual's gambling losses. That probably will still be an individual's responsibility.