Poker Players Lobby Washington For The Right To Play With Real Money
from the full-house dept
Back in 2005, there were a few stories circulating about people funding their startups and college educations by playing online poker. The passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006 pretty much put an end to most of these plans. The act prohibits banks and credit card companies from processing online gambling transactions. However, even though the exact details of the law are still yet to be flushed out, banks are already blocking such transactions out of fear that they might fall under its prohibitions. So, while it is still legal to play poker online, players have to jump through hoops to fill their accounts with money, effectively crippling the entire online poker industry in the US. This week, the Poker Players Alliance, which represents 800,000 worldwide poker enthusiasts, marched on Washington with 100 of their members, including famous poker stars Howard Lederer, Chris Moneymaker, Annie Duke, and former New York Senator Alfonse D'Amato. Poker enthusiasts argue that poker is a game of skill, and therefore, should not be banned under the gambling act. Not only do they think that poker should be allowed, poker enthusiasts go as far as to claim that poker is educational and aids in cognitive development. Well, whether or not poker is educational is still up for debate, but there's no doubt that online poker was big business in the US prior to the ban. And, with the lobby already spending $640,000 in the first six months of this year, they are betting big on getting back into the US market. Hopefully for them, it's not a sucker's bet.