Legalization of Online Poker

Date: February 5, 2009

Would obama legalize the online pokerFor many years now, Online Poker has provided a convenient form of entertainment and competition for millions around the world. However, for almost as long as online poker has existed, the United States Government has banned US based players from participating in the online poker world.

Senators and Governors have argued for years that Online Poker should be illegal for many different reasons. They argue that the pitfalls of gambling cause many American citizens to get into debt or to become addicted to a type of environment that causes degenerate behavior. While these arguments do have merit and the pitfalls of gambling are relevant, poker has been proven to be a game involving mostly skill, with a combination of luck: very far from the degenerate gambling involved in many casino games.

If slot machines, roulette, betting on dogs, and various other forms of gambling, such as poker, are legal at institutions such as Casinos, Dog Tracks, Horse Tracks, then why should online poker be prohibited. Poker is just a game, with money simply being used to keep the score. While I do admit, that there are some pitfalls to any sort of betting and that certain types of people, with addictive personalities should not participate, overall online poker is not a harmful game.

It is estimated that over 15 million Americans play online poker for money every year, with over $170 million being wagered online by Americans, as far back as 2005. While the 2008 numbers have yet to be verified, it is estimated to be as much as five times this amount. With over half a billion dollars being spent or exchanged each year, why wouldn’t the Government want in on this action?

While it is possible that with the changes occurring in the US Government, changes could occur within the Online Poker world as well. As Obama and his cabinet are looking to fund many new projects, there is an abundance of wealth to be made from the online world. Obama, who admits to being an avid poker player, is aware of the vast amounts of money exchanged on the internet and knows of the potential that legalizing online poker could provide for the Government.

Alfonse D’AmatoAlfonse D’Amato, who is a former Republican Senator from New York and serves as chairman of the Poker Players Alliance, has brought the subject of the legalization of online poker back into the eyes of Washington’s decision makers. In his recent article in “Roll Call”, which goes out to almost all congress members and senators, D’Amato has put the pressure on Washington to heed the request of millions of Americans and legalize online poker.

In the last paragraph of D’Amato’s article he summed up the opportunity that awaits the US Government with the following quote. “Obama is purported to be a skillful poker player, an expertise that should be an unwritten job requirement for all would-be U.S. presidents. Poker teaches you patience, and it trains you to calculate the odds and avoid unnecessary risks. If Obama applies his poker skills to his job in the White House, he will reject politically unpopular and economically untenable tax increases and look seriously at other potential revenue streams like Internet poker.”

With the economic pressure and the voices of millions of Americans, we can only hope that the legalization of Online Poker is right around the corner. Will 2009 be a historic year for Online Poker? I think it just might be!


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