Check this out. Two one-time, and current, rivals have joined forces against a common enemy and sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General critiquing the federal government for not regulating poker. With this uniting of forces, perhaps the Congress will be unified as well and push through joint legislation. For once in my life, I actually am saying “Tax Me, PLEASE!”
Tag: poker legislation
Friday’s a BIG day for many poker players. It’s the last day poker players can make a claim in federal court for funds seized/frozen by the federal government on Black Friday. So if you have money out there, stake your claim. If nothing else, it will show solidarity and interest in poker to the feds monitoring the situation. Good luck! It may be the last online hand you win for quite some time.
All indications are that the AGA will not back the legislation introducted by Congressman Joe Barton in response to Black Friday. The strange thing is that the bills are fairly similar. I get wanting to protect your interests above those of others, but there is something called biting off your nose to spite your face. (Anyone remember Seven?) It has to be in poker’s best interest (and gaming generally) to legalize poker (and gaming), and then later tweak it if necessary. These internal divisions are killing us.
With a new round of poker legislation inching upon us, what do you want in a poker law? Are you willing to hold out for only complete legalization with minimal taxation? Or should poker advocates take a more moderate stance, with limited licenses, higher taxes, ability for states to opt out, government oversight, etc.? Let me know your thoughts.
Not too long PLB wrote about how the District of Columbia was set to become the first U.S. jurisdiction to have legal online poker. Well, don’t bet on it. The launch of the DC site has been delayed. The alleged reason is to give D.C residents sufficient time to weigh in on where the “gambling hot spots” (it’s not like they are opium dens) can be located. Please. Let’s call a spade a spade. This is a con to delay the launch because it would look bad to the federal government for the FEDERAL District of Columbia to make legal exactly what the feds recently took down, and are in the process of prosecuting. We can do without the subterfuge. Let’s cut out the BS and have an honest conversation. We’re all adults. Even if the government does not treat pokers players as them.
At the PPA rally on Tuesday, it was revealed that Representative Joseph Barton (R-TX) will introduce a bill that would repeal the UIGEA and declare poker a game of skill, not chance. I don’t want to stop getting my hopes up every time one of these poker savior bills are talked up. But there have been many (Rep. Frank’s bill, for example…), and none have panned out. Frankly, none have come close. It’s almost like a parent stringing a child along knowing full well that she is not going to buy the kid the G.I. Joe aircraft carrier. (Sorry, wrong blog.) Still, I can’t prevent myself from getting excited every time I hear of one of these bills. It’s just so darn promising, in theory. It’s that hope that comes from the promise of the unknown. And while intellectually I know all of these bills are long shots, I can’t help but hope this is the one that pans out. So here’s to hoping, and to never giving up on the collector’s edition Millennium Falcon.
It was announced that the Australian Federal Police and the FBI are investigating potentially illegal poker sites. This hot on the heels of the arrest of the man allegedly behind the massive “money laundering” scheme responsible for funding the poker sites. (He’s not become a government informant, according to this report.) And here I thought Australia was all good people and freedom to do whatever you want. There goes the last vestige of my Peter Plan complex. Sadness.
Bradley Franzen, one of the people who operated the online payment processors, has pled guilty to money laundering and aiding unlawful Internet gambling. He cut a deal to talk. Can’t blame the guy – he faces more than twenty years in prison, though likely will get far less in exchange for his plea and cooperation. (Even though pleading guilty to a federal indictment is far less forgiving than the movies make it out to be or pleading guilty to a state indictment usually is.) If I’m one of the other 10 indicted people, I’d be pretty nervous though. The Feds doesn’t cut deals out of the goodness of its heart. More dominoes likely will fall soon.
A report is circulating that a loophole (intentional?) in the Cereus network, which includes Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, permits US-based players to continue to play poker despite the federal crackdown. If I am the Department of Justice and this is true, I am not a happy camper. Think of getting one-outed on the river in PLO mad. The last thing the poker world needs right now is a bunch of greedy poker site owners trying to squeeze a few more bucks out of the US market before the market closes, perhaps permanently. It can serve only to rile the feds and strengthen their resolve. Good work Cereus. Way to think of the big picture. (Of course, like all criminals…Absolute and Ultimate Bet deny the allegations.)