Cookies on the PokerWorks Website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the PokerWorks website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Continue using cookies

Poker News | Gambling and the Law

The Internet – and Enlightened Self-Interest

Share this
I read Michael Craig's post with interest. And, it does posit views with some passion. I too have political leanings. I am libertarian in principle. That isn't with a capital ‘L'. And neither do I go for the capital ‘D' or the capital ‘R'. I have written to my Congress persons on a variety of subjects including poker. I am not sure why I have continued to do it as the responses are form letters designed to alienate the least possible constituency without taking a position.

In my day, I've supported various causes. At one time it included the Sierra Club. That went by the wayside as I saw the same self-interest dedicated to fund raising rather than action. My support went to organizations like Ducks Unlimited and Trout Unlimited who were interested in actions that benefited their member's view. And, their actions resulted in benefits to all-enlightened self-interest typically translates to broader benefits.

Causes like I just mentioned draw support from a group that tends to react rather than use thought to develop their own actions. Politics has become insular in those respects-even more so. Activism takes many forms and talks to 'its base' in emotion tweaking terms. I am quite happy tarring the Faldwells and the moveon.orgs with the same brush. The world is full of problems. It always has been and there's no sign it will stop. Occasionally some do really work for solutions. They don't do it in grandiose terms and they seldom go beyond moderate successes. They seldom get the limelight. But, there is often real change.

Poker is not a God given right. The framers of the Constitution never directly addressed it. They managed to later address their shortcomings with a Bill of Rights that conveys to all a general group of privileges that cannot be ignored-though many have tried. And that goes back far beyond our time. Up to now that has worked out and I don't see it failing us soon.

I respect Michael's willingness to test the Washington state law. It is in the tradition of those who did wrought change through action and whose protest did gain necessary limelight. Michael isn't Ghandi, Mandella, or King but he's using the principles. We all seem willing to talk the talk but few are ready to walk the walk.

I do disagree with some of his points. I don't see running a ‘book' out of one's home in the same light he does. We have had many laws on our books. Some of them, we learned in our history class, were poor laws that were later overturned. Bookmaking doesn't seem in that class. The gentlemen under bond in St. Louis flaunted the same laws here and abroad. He has been taken to task over them before. It benefits such people when we combine their activities under a 'fight to save poker' (which is just as illegal in many jurisdictions). We have a right to protest but when we ignore our pet laws we weaken the others.

Politicians love easy solutions. Poker has appeared to be an easy solution. Senator Volstead of Minnesota proposed a solution that spoke to a problem but with an incomplete solution. Too often our politicians craft their easy solution in a like manner. And they find fellow travelers that laud their actions - like Senator Volstead did with the W.C.T.U. and Congress finds out all about them today. The only good action that came from that was that the Ice Cream Sunday was invented in Evanston, IL. Hardly what the planners envisioned. But, I also worry when I am a do-gooder for my cause and can castigate those other do-gooders. I usually figure I need to start trying to look closer at my cause and solution.

There are proposals and laws that can speak to a situation. They typically lack the pizazz that excites a politician. Compromise isn't a bad thing. We need to try to move our poker and other situations toward real world solutions. Internet Poker Rooms may operate in the honest manner outlined. But, they aren't as open or regulated as many other business entities. And we have CEO's of those getting indicted left and right. I can't look at the current situation in glowing terms. It is a situation operating in the shadows that provides a service that many of us enjoy. But for how long and to who's benefit? That is what needs clear definition and overturning Washington State's silliness isn't addressing that.

We do need activism in many areas and poker is one. But, those who accept the challenge cannot stop when their ox isn't currently being gored. They need to help build a better ox. This progress is a long term action and without it I really don't care what the current climate reveals or its outcome. I can find a speakeasy - real or virtual. There must be considered solutions proposed; there is no other way to out Falwell, the Falwels, and moveon.orgs of this world. We need to work toward solutions that address all the issues with the least damage. And that moves us beyond the simplistic solution and to the area of those that have in the past brought integrity to the solution. That's a hard act.

So what can we conclude? Poker needs some help from somewhere. Taking online poker on trust is a stretch. Unfortunately, relying on Congress to solve the problem is even a greater stretch. Rather than seeking narrow solutions for our benefit, we need to look for solutions of enlightened self interest; solutions that not only benefit the moment but enhance the whole. And we haven't gotten there. That isn't everyone's fault - activist or not. Good laws evolve over time and often after much poorer situations that are the catalyst for change. What we can do is seek to minimize the time frame. And to do that we need to look at all of the problem and not just our take on the matter. Gambling has unattractive aspects that are exacerbated by the Wild West aspect of on-line poker. If we can accept that then we can expect the competition to accept our thoughts.

News Flash

The IRS Scores Big at 2015 WSOP ME Final Table

The IRS managed to snag 34.13 percent from the payouts of the 2015 November Nine, totaling $8,467,091.

Read more

Quick Room Review

Bonus Room review

Subscribe to the Nightly Turbo

Be the first to know all the latest poker news, tournament results, gossip and learn all about the best online poker deals straight from your inbox.

RSS Feed