Internet Poker Lobby Setting Up Tables At Both Conventions

from the upping-the-ante dept

The US’s odd decision to effectively ban online poker as part of a national security law has never made much sense, other than as yet another paternalistic move by the government deciding what is and is not okay for you to do in the privacy of your own home. Some claim that the online poker ban is due to lobbyists from the offline casino industry, who don’t like the competition — but there’s little evidence to support that. First of all, the offline casinos have talked about how they’d like to get into the online game themselves, but cannot due to this ban — and it’s quite likely that making games like poker more popular via online competitions would increase foot traffic to offline casinos as people who believe they’ve become experts online venture out to real world casinos.

Either way, it seems that the folks in favor of legalizing online poker are getting increasingly sophisticated in their lobbying efforts. Last year, they sent representatives to lobby in DC, and this year they’re setting up actual poker games at both major party political conventions, trying to drive home the point that playing poker shouldn’t be a crime. The article also notes that the lobbyists have started their own Political Action Committee as well, called PokerPAC, which has already raised some cash. Apparently, the poker players are getting serious about calling Congress’ bluff on online poker.

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Comments on “Internet Poker Lobby Setting Up Tables At Both Conventions”

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pawn says:

Re: Online poker

@ Dan Morency: That’s a dumb reason for a ban. Those people already flitter away their money.

Lots of people enjoy gambling as entertainment. For me, it’s like going to see a movie (Except I make money at poker).

And you can find lots of people who spend their money poorly. Lots of people go into credit card debt buying music, movies, video games, consumer electronics, clothes, shoes, etc.

I work with a girl who cannot get out of debt because she buys designer handbags.

Should designer handbags be banned? Of course not. To me, restricting how I spend my money is as offensive as taking it through taxes.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Online poker

You’re a fool if you think people don’t already do this illegally.

Besides, online gambling is legal in most other countries and there doesn’t seem to be a massive increase in gambling problems. In fact, online casinos in the UK market legally have to promote safe gambling, give players the option to block themselves if they feel they have problems and help problem gamblers (

Scott says:

Re: I vote

Finally, a comment that makes sense. I’m glad someone else out there sees the similarity between playing internet poker and Russian roulette. Online gambling is way more like a game where the loser dies with a gunshot wound to the head than the in-casino gambling games on which it is based.

We just need to mobilize the gun/Bible toting rural Americans to keep down those snotty jerks with their fancy-pants college educations and indoor plumbing. If those guys take over the country, everything will soon go to Hell. Well, the last 8 years have been great for our cause. Keep the faith, brother!

DMo says:

It's more about funding than playing

With the exception of a very few state laws (I think Indiana is one example), there is no law against *playing* poker online — nobody has been prosecuted for being “caught” playing online poker. The recent UIGEA legislation only forbids US financial institutions, including credit card companies, from processing transactions used to fund or payout online gambling accounts, which makes it a lot harder to play online for real money. There are plenty of ways around it, however, and there are many poker sites that still support US players. I know, because I have accounts at several. Which just goes to prove that you can pass restrictive legislation all you want, but the people that really want to do (or profit from) something will always find a way to make it happen. Drugs, guns, gambling, et al. So the government would be wise to regulate and tax online gambling rather than attempt to ban it entirely. There may be lots of legitimate reasons, such as public safety, to legislate certain activities, but a perception of “morality” should never be one of them.

Will says:

Re: It's more about funding than playing

Ok, so you work around this to play. That’s great as long as you lose money, or win small amounts, as most the vast majority of people do. Your money finds its way to them with no problem. You’re even ok if your one of the few that win large amounts playing with a 100% honest company.

What happens when you win a big pot and the company refuses to pay? No matter what their excuse your only hope at getting your money is to pray you can raise enough of a stink that they fear it’ll cost them more. You can’t, in any way shape or form, hope to sue them and win because you deliberately circumvented the law to play and they would have to deliberately violate the law to pay.

Davis says:

Online poker Legislating

hi this is Davis.I love Poker so much and i enjoyed your blog thoroughly.Nice Blog.Enjoyed it.
There are plenty of ways around it, however, and there are many poker sites that still support US players. I know, because I have accounts at several. Which just goes to prove that you can pass restrictive legislation all you want, but the people that really want to do (or profit from) something will always find a way to make it happen

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