Online poker is in the hands of twelve people?
Aug. 20, 2011, Posted by Pokerfarm
Sometimes it's hard to believe what politicians are capable of, or better yet not capable.
The subject of online poker is no different and legislation regarding it has failed to make any progress since the dreadful Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. In fact, things got even worse for American players and poker sites alike after the Black Friday events. And it's not only Americans. The French, Italian and many other European governments have introduced laws similar to the UIGEA, further restricting their citizens as to where and under which conditions they can play online poker. This resulted with a ban on all major poker sites except for those which operate within the respective country, massive rake which was a result of massive taxation. You think things couldn't get any worse? Think again.
The gambling industry was never this big in its entire history. Instead of regulating this gigantic market and make a profit while doing so, the world's leading governments went on a whole different route. Online gambling and online poker in particular are now considered unwanted in the world of free market enterprise. That's nothing new to anyone seriously playing online poker. But there is some news that might be promising and dangerous at the same time.
The Budget Control Act of 2011 was passed into law on the second day of August. The focal point of this legislation is the Debt Super Committee. In essence, the Committee is consisted of six Senators and six house representatives from both political parties with one spot reserved for the President. This committee has the power to put a veto on any bills proposed by the Congress and make its own bills that may not amended or filibustered. As you can clearly see, it's a political body above the Congress and that's what makes it dangerous for any law proposal, including the regulation of Internet poker. But there might be some promising rumors.
The Las Vegas Review Journal recently interviewed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who reportedly said that Internet poker legislation "will get done". His statement is quite encouraging although no time frame was given. Reid's statement also gives room for a possible discussion. The Poker Players Alliance executive director John Pappas said the following on this subject: "I think there is a very good chance we're going to get in the discussion. Whether it makes into the final recommendation is the question." Pappas also continued by stating that the poker community should be very assertive on this subject and further educate their politicians, especially now when the Super Committee is a national issue.
"If we're able to get a lot of PPA members tuned up to contact members of the committee and say to include online poker, I think when it comes up in their discussions that it will be much more palatable to them than if they go into this without any understanding that there are a bunch of people out there who care about this," Pappas said.
It's up to the poker players to react wisely and appropriately. Unless we want to witness how the few can control the many, time and time again.