US Attorney General answers poker questions at DoJ meeting

US Attorney General answers poker questions at DoJ meeting

Thursday, 5 May 2011

The US Department of Justice held an oversight meeting this week during which the Poker Players’ Alliance marched on Washington to pose questions to Attorney General Eric Holder. John Pappas, the PPA’s executive director, was one of 30 in attendance but said that the meeting was just “another step forward” and not a victory.

However, the A.G. was forced to answer questions regarding the recent indictments throughout the event. When asked if poker was a game of chance or skill, Holder declined to answer, stating that it was beyond his capabilities to determine. However, when asked if Phil Ivey was just very lucky, he conceded that there was a degree of skill in poker.

Holder’s textbook answer to the indictments was that the law must be upheld, but Rep. Steve Cohen pressed the point, observing that in the 1940s and 1950s many civil rights laws were upheld until Thurgood Marshall’s arguments for racial equality caused a review and correction of a law deemed wrong.

Cohen continued: “Don’t you think that Internet poker... is down at the bottom of the priority range below hardcore pornography and child rape and things like that?” In addition, Rep. Linda Sanchez of California told Holder that her constituents had raised vocal concerns about Internet poker indictments, proving that at last poker players are mobilising and making their voices heard.

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Tags: Department of Justice