April 15, widely known as tax-deadline day, carries a starker meaning for fans of online gambling.
On April 15, 2011, federal authorities shut down U.S. operations of the three largest online-poker sites, stopping thousands of people from playing and tying up millions of dollars they had deposited or won.
Since "Black Friday," actions by the Justice Department, casino and online companies and several states indicate legal online gambling in the United States is tantalizingly close but still months away.
"Any time you're changing laws, whether it's in Harrisburg or Sacramento (Calif.) or any other place, it's time-consuming, an arduous process," Richard "Skip" Bronson, chairman of U.S. Digital Gaming says. His firm, based in Beverly Hills, Calif., provides online-gambling systems.
John Pappas, executive director of Poker Players Alliance, says many people expected virtual cards to be dealt in at least one state by the middle of this year after the Justice Department said in December that the Wire Act did not prohibit online gambling.
"Maybe by the middle of 2013, we'll see (online poker legal in) multiple states, but it's certainly not going to be this year," says Pappas, whose group favors federal regulation.