Online Poker Kings Get Cashed Out

Killing livelihoods and a $2.5 billion industry, the feds attack Internet gambling

It might come down to the states legalizing online poker within their borders (much like medical marijuana) and daring the feds to step in. Nevada has already begun issuing online-gambling licenses. Washington, D.C., passed a plan for running its own online-poker site. And in December, the Justice Department reversed its long-standing view that the 1961 Wire Act banned online gaming, a move many experts see as opening the door to state-regulated poker.

Before the government crackdown on online gambling, Maxwell Fritz made $100,000 over 18 months of playing—all while still attending Princeton.
Photograph by Will Rice
Before the government crackdown on online gambling, Maxwell Fritz made $100,000 over 18 months of playing—all while still attending Princeton.
Vanessa Peng moved to Canada to gamble online after it became illegal in the States.
Courtesy of Vanessa Peng
Vanessa Peng moved to Canada to gamble online after it became illegal in the States.

Yet for the moment, the future remains cloudy. Maybe one day players will again be able to provide for their families. Until then, they're just out of luck.

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