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The pinch is on, once again, from our nation's leaders. Online poker is on the defense from U.S. government officials who feel internet poker is the end all of civilization. It's funny, with so much going on in the world it seems that our government has the time to take a break from the major issues (education, crime, health care, etc.) to fight the evil doers, like myself, who enjoy playing a little poker on the internet. The good news is my Aunt May can't be thrown into the same fire with me, since she chose to play the lottery online instead of poker. It also means my Uncle Mike can continue to bet on the ponies at the track and not worry about going to hell like me and the rest of my "immoral" online poker brethren. It's a bill written into the Port Security Bill.( President Bush signed the Port Security Bill, and thus the Unlawful Online Gambling Bill which is actually an amendment to the Wire Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1084.) Security? Hmmm...

U.S. government officials, "Folks, can you keep an eye out for any suspicious terrorist looking types at your tables?"

Lausy, "Sorry boys haven't seen Osama since I gave him a bad beat on the river. I guess that means he can't transfer his funds to another terrorist since I took all his money."

The Act was also written to eliminate the immoral values it represents. Immoral? I have a hard time when a politician talks to me about morals. I recently decided to try and contact both Representative Bob Goodlatte (Virginia) and Senator Bill Frist (The Act's biggest proponent) via online.

Rep. Goodlatte who once stated, (the bill would stop) "$6 billion from being sucked out of the economy" (annually). What does this have to do with morals or security?

Bill Frist stated that internet gambling is "immoral" and believes "it is the fabric that eliminates dreams and futures."

I know Senator Frist believes this because he took time away from his busy vacation, er-r-ah-h work schedule to send me one of his personal form letters. I was so proud to receive his attention. Let me clarify, I spent an hour writing Sen. Frist letting him know I also was a devout conservative and wanted to know why my freedom to decide what is right or wrong was taken away. Three weeks later I received a form letter from the good Senator. Yes I know, there is no way he can personally answer everyone, but my point is, don't tell me as a politician, you work for the taxpayers and their best interests. Taxpayers wouldn't have passed this law. Taxpayers would not pass a law for Senator's to give themselves a nice big raise, only to follow that with passing another on shortening how many meetings and work days in Washington they need to attend.

Whoa...I'm ranting. I guess I should be happy though, I couldn't even get in touch with Rep. Goodlatte. I‘m not in his district, so, I couldn't use Bob's online comment program. Nice touch, Bob. I did write him a letter, but to no avail. Maybe he feels I'm wasting some of that 6 billion on an envelope.

I think the crack down will continue. I mean, a company like Party Poker where 60% of there revenue came from U.S. based players. Why would they pull out so quickly? Are they just stepping back until they think the worst is over? Do you think Neteller wished they had done what Party Poker did? The question is "who is next"?

The Act does have rules and information you should know. These answer some of the questions I've seen on several different poker forums from players like myself.

  • There are an estimated 50 million poker players in the U.S.
  • The American Gaming Association has expressed interest to operate online gambling sites for U.S. citizens.
  • Jon Porter (Rep. Nevada) introduced a bill to study the possibility for regulation of online gambling sites if they were U.S. owned.
  • Legal bets on the internet specified in the amendment include: U.S. horse racing, U.S. internet lotteries, games of skill, and U.S. fantasy sports. (The lottery and horse racing betting is skill??)
  • Illegal Bets on the internet specified in the amendment include all "games of chance" like poker, blackjack, backgammon, bingo, and other such casino games .

The publicly stated reason for the bill is negated and irrelevant as the amendment allows:

  1. Online Gambling on horse racing under the Interstate Horseracing Act (IHA).
  2. Gambling that takes place on an Indian reservation or between two reservations.
  3. Internet gambling that occurs solely within a state's own borders, referred to as Intra-state gambling.

In closing, I'm going to give you my opinion on this UIGEA and where it could lead. I'd like too first ask to our ever intruding government officials, "stop making decisions for me". I will decide what is moral. I am a conservative with no criminal history, past divorces, drug related incidents, or any other "immoral" issues.

Bill Frist calls Online Gambling "addictive". You mean like alcohol, or cigarettes, of how about ballgame hotdogs? Are these things next?

We as a people in the U.S. need to start taking accountability for our actions and the government needs to worry about the bigger issues. This is my view on drawing the line of responsibilities. The U.S. citizens can handle their lives by stop suing others frivolously; stop partying your rent check away, stop blaming the government for not helping you when you just had your 5th child with no job nor high school diploma, and stop pointing blame at others when you do wrong. The U.S. Government can stop worrying about baseball with steroids and poker, and instead focus on our troops overseas, worry about the social security I pay into but won't see, worry about the borders, worry about...well you get the picture.

The cookie is crumbling. The point of my rant is, I work all day and want to relax with some internet poker (the world news doesn't help me relax these days). I can't choose where or how I want to relax anymore. Are real casinos next? Where will the line be drawn? I think it will continue until the government can control the cash flow, meaning, if the government can get a piece of the action, it will be okay. Why else would they wait to do this until it got so big? Of course what do I know, I'm just a U.S. player being deprived of my freedom of choice.

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