US House Financial Services ponder poker

US House Financial Services ponder poker

Friday, 23 July 2010

"To say we broke a lot of new ground in this hearing is a stretch," said John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance. "But we did check the box and hope it paves the way for a vote in Frank's committee as soon as next week."

Senator Barney Frank’s proposition is to regulate and tax online poker in the United States, nullifying certain aspects of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act under the 2006 Safe Port Act.

Of course, there was opposition to the motion with Senator Spencer Bachus arguing that freely-available online gambling would affect addicts and minors. Frank countered, saying that every American should have the freedom to do what they want in their own home with the money that they have earned.

Annie Duke followed up on her PPA representation in 2007 at the House Judiciary Committee. Mother of four and WSOP bracelet-winner Duke rebuffed Bachus’s claims that having accessible online gambling in a family home was like putting whiskey in an infant’s crib (Bluff Europe ed note: Jeez, America, you elected this guy??) and pointed out that the UIGEA is actually a banking law that does nothing to prevent problem or underage gambling.

Two opponents one would not expect were California’s representative and the Commerce Casino. The UIGEA being removed would, supposedly, cost 22,000 Native Americans their jobs at brick ‘n’ mortar casinos – yup, because attendance at live games was plummeting as online poker rose. Oh, wait, no actually that’s not at all what happened.

Democracy only works if the politicians can muster a few brain cells between them, apparently.

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