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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Plus: CA Poker Players Need to Oust Feinstein

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Being a poker player, I hate the UIGEA, Black Friday, and every other incident that has happened to take away my right to play online poker. Wanting to protest our government’s interference in my right to the freedom of choice to play poker, I have followed the PPA’s advice.

That advice is to make our voices heard and let our elected officials know we support the legalization and regulation of online poker. The only way to let those who make the rules know that we want the rules changed, is to contact them and tell them we want the freedom to play poker online wherever and whenever we choose.

Sadly, many poker players, like myself,  live in California, so one of the elected officials we are asked to contact is our United States Senator who unfortunately is Ms. Clueless; Dianne Feinstein. This is the second time I have emailed Feinstein and both times have received a typical canned response where the only personalization was the addition of my name at the beginning. Reading the reply, it is all too easy to see it was composed to be sent to anyone who emailed a letter of support for online poker. The only thing about this letter is that it reaffirms why I have never voted for this woman and never will. My hope is when her term is up, the people of California will have had enough and get rid of her.

Elected officials are just that – ELECTED. The purpose of electing a certain candidate is to represent US, the people who elected them. The election process has put this self-serving woman in place to represent us, but clearly she is following her own agenda, which is obvious with her statement below which includes, “In my view, Internet gambling has become too easily accessible to minors, subject to fraud and criminal misuse, and too easily used as a tool to evade state gambling laws.” This is the grating part, “In MY View.” We the people who elected you don’t really care about YOUR view; we want you to represent OUR views. You were not elected to push your views on people who don’t share your same deluded vision of things such as online poker.

“Internet gambling has become too easily accessible to minors, subject to fraud and criminal misuse, and too easily used as a tool to evade state gambling laws."

Ok, but wouldn’t legalization and regulation FIX that? If regulation was in place where players had to fax proof of ID and age to a legal online poker site, wouldn’t that eliminate the problem with minors playing online? And IF they did play, say on their parents account, wouldn’t that be the responsibility of the parent to handle that situation? The concern about "too easily used as a tool to evade state gambling laws” is also ridiculous. Again, if online poker was licensed, regulated and legalized, online poker wouldn’t be conflicting with a state’s gaming laws, unless a state like Washington chose to make it illegal.

Here is the entire response from Senator Clueless:

Dear Ms. XXX: (Faceless Person Who Means Nothing to Me)  Thank you for writing to me about the Department of Justice's recent enforcement actions regarding online poker and your support for legislation to license and regulate that industry.  I respect your opinion on this matter, and I welcome the opportunity to share my point of view.  On April 15, 2011, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced the indictment of eleven people on fraud and money laundering charges, including the founders of the three largest Internet poker companies doing business in the United States: PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker.  As part of its enforcement action, the government also issued an order restraining about 76 bank accounts in 14 counties and also seized five Internet domain names used by the poker companies.  I understand that you have concerns about Internet poker players who have financial accounts on these websites.  On April 20, 2011, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that an agreement had been reached with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.  Under the agreement, the companies must block Americans from playing poker for profit on their sites in exchange for once again being able to access their domain names.  The U.S. Attorney stated that: "No individual player accounts were ever frozen or restrained, and each implicated poker company has at all times been free to reimburse any player's deposited funds."  The U.S. Attorney further stated that, "In fact, this Office expects the companies to return the money that U.S. players entrusted to them, and we will work with the poker companies to facilitate the return of funds to players, as today's agreements with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker demonstrate."  The government has offered the same deal to Absolute Poker.  In your letter, you also state your support for the "Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act" (H.R. 1174), which was introduced by Representative John Campbell (R-CA) on March 17, 2011.  This bill would legalize certain types of Internet gambling, including online poker, and establish a system for regulation.  To date, companion legislation has not been introduced in the United States Senate. Generally, I have opposed legislation that would expand Internet gambling.  For example, I was a strong supporter of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (Public Law 109-347), which would have prohibited payments to U.S. institutions for Internet gambling.  In my view, Internet gambling has become too easily accessible to minors, subject to fraud and criminal misuse, and too easily used as a tool to evade state gambling laws.Again, thank you for sharing your opinion with me.  If you have any additional comments or questions, please feel free to contact my Washington, D.C. staff at (202) 224-3841.  Sincerely yours,  Dianne Feinstein           United States SenatorFurther information about my position on issues of concern to California and the Nation are available at my website,  You can also receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing to my e-mail list. Click here to sign up.  Feel free to checkout my YouTube Page.

I would like to add that I think it is wonderful that Senator Clueless has time to post herself and her self-serving attitude on YouTube, instead of taking the time to find out how to best serve those who she is supposed to represent. I also appreciate her taking the time to explain her view (which I didn’t ask for). I further appreciate her taking the time and effort to explain to me the events of Black Friday because after all, I am just a faceless idiot who likes to gamble and help perpetuate crime by playing poker online which is “subject to fraud and criminal misuse.” And just because I wrote to Senator Clueless specifically regarding the DOJ’s actions, surely I know nothing about what really went down, right? Of course not!

I just had nothing to do, so thought I would shoot off a letter to my Senator about something I had no knowledge of.

This all drives home the feeling many Americans have about our elected officials. They could care less about us, the people who elect them. Their primary goal is to get in office, fight for their own self-serving agenda and then retire with a fat pension for life after a few short years, where they could make more money for doing nothing than they made working.

Too bad the rest of us don’t have such great job benefits and freedoms.

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