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

Congressmen go Public Supporting Internet Poker

Share this
Two US Representatives have taken an unusual step to garner support for a bill - they've editorialized in the press. Steve Israel and Pete King, Congressmen for Long Island, published an editorial in the New York Post explaining why they are supporters of Congressman Barney Frank's Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act (IGREA), HR 2046.

According to their editorial, entitled "Web Gambling: Tax, Don't Ban," the UIGEA has wasted government resources that can better be used elsewhere, such as Treasury Department duties like "investigating counterfeit money, tracking terrorist financing and more." According to Israel and King, "federal law-enforcement officials have bigger fish to fry," than online gamblers.

They outline many concerns with internet gambling, such as problem gamblers and underage gambling, and then go on to explain how the IGREA addresses those issues, like fining sites that don't do enough to keep underage gamblers off the sites. According to the editorial, "In Britain, where Internet gambling is legal and regulated, technology checks ensure that gamblers are of age and are not problem gamblers; watch lists work to prevent money-laundering."

Israel and King consider the UIGEA not only an underhanded method of getting a bill passed, tacked on as it was to an unimpeachable port security bill in the final hours of a late-night Congressional session, but also unenforceable. "The ban on Internet gambling is misdirected - and it's also probably unenforceable. People will still gamble on the Web, just without the protections that a legal framework could provide to ensure age-verification and protection against fraud. And online gambling now generates $13 billion a year; under the ban, online gamblers won't send a portion of that cash in tax dollars to the Treasury - instead, it'll go to scam artists and gray market entrepreneurs."

The editorial is compelling, with parallels drawn between the online gambling issue and the music download battles of recent years, making the case that the internet is untamable, so it's better to find a way for customers to get what they want from the internet and regulate it, than to try and prevent the flow of information or money across the web.
The editorial also addresses the issue of personal privacy, and government intrusion into citizen's private lives. "Years ago, the Treasury's Secret Service agents used to help Harry Truman put poker games together in the White House. Now they'd be locking him up."

King, a Republican, and Israel, a Democrat, echo what many columnists and pundits have said on the topic of the UIGEA, that it is unenforceable and backwards-thinking. The sentiment was most widely read when conservative columnist George Will said in the October 23rd, 2006 issue of Newsweek that "Gambling is, however, as American as the Gold Rush or, for that matter, Wall Street. George Washington deplored the rampant gambling at Valley Forge, but lotteries helped fund his army as well as Harvard, Princeton and Dartmouth. And Washington endorsed the lottery that helped fund construction of the city that now bears his name, and from which has come a stern - but interestingly selective - disapproval of gambling."

*Online poker is alive and well.  The choice of some online sites to remove U.S. citizens from their player base is due to facing problems with banking and stock exchange issues.  There are sites open to Americans - sign up at  PokerStars and FullTilt for great bonuses and game play with players around the world 24/7.*

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