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.