Could President Obama capitalize on GOP poker stance

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 31, 2012 Posted in Legal Poker News, Op-Ed | No Comments »

After the Republican Party released their official party platform, which included a very anti-online poker stance, the Democrats and President Barack Obama now have a fairly large constituency potentially dropped into his lap, and all it will take for Obama to suddenly become the voice of online poker proponents will be a single throwaway line during his Democrat National Convention speech next week.

Poker players now know precisely where the Republican stands on online poker, so even if some people were still hopeful that Mitt Romney’s previous statements on the matter were not set in stone, now the idea of a Romney presidency is looking like a no online poker presidency.

Under the sub-header of “Making the Internet Family-Friendly” the Official Republican Party platform was very specific on its Internet poker stance:

“Millions of Americans suffer from problem or pathological gambling that can destroy families. We support the prohibition of gambling over the Internet and call for reversal of the Justice Department’s decision distorting the formerly accepted meaning of the Wire Act that could open the door to Internet betting. The Internet must be made safe for children. We call on service providers to exercise due care to ensure that the Internet cannot become a safe haven for predators while respecting First Amendment rights. We congratulate the social networking sites that bar known sex offenders from participation. We urge active prosecution against child pornography, which is closely linked to the horrors of human trafficking. Current laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity need to be vigorously enforced.”

So how can President Obama lockup the online poker vote? It’s actually quite simple; all President Obama has to do is simply add the words “legalizing and regulating online poker” to his speech when he talks about potential revenue streams.

The problem is that President Obama has been extremely hesitant to weigh in on the topic, with the closest thing to an official stance being the answer to an online question by an Obama Administration spokesman who called the president’s stance on online gaming a state’s rights issue.

“Thank you for taking the time to participate in the “We the People” petition process. We launched this online tool as a way of hearing directly from you, and are pleased to see that it has been effective in soliciting your feedback. We understand your interest in the petition to support the legalization of online poker, and appreciate the opportunity to share President Obama’s concerns about this issue.

“The Administration understands that many Americans engage in paid online poker games for entertainment purposes. Online gambling on sporting events or contests violates federal law. The legality of other forms of online gambling is dependent upon the law of the states where the bettor or gambling business is located. It is left to each state to determine whether it wishes to permit such activity between its residents and an online poker business authorized by that state to accept such wagers, but online gambling that is not authorized by state law may also violate federal statutes.

“The rapid and anonymous nature of the internet distinguishes online games from onsite games, such as those in casinos, and creates distinct challenges. For example, there are many means of technologically circumventing restrictions on online gambling that can allow individuals from countries where gambling is illegal — or even minors — to play using real currency. Online games also have greater potential for fraud because gambling websites are much cheaper and easier to establish than on-site locations, and like telemarketing scams, can appear and disappear overnight. Finally, online gambling can be used in money laundering schemes because of the volume, speed, anonymity, and international reach made possible by internet transactions. The Administration will continue to examine this issue and is open to solutions that would help guard against the use of online gambling sites as tools for conducting illegal activities or preying on unsuspecting individuals to the extent that online gambling is permitted.

“Thank you once again for signing the online petition. We appreciate hearing your opinions and look forward to hearing from you again soon.”

But next week, when President Obama accepts his party’s nomination for reelection he could end the silence and simply say, “Online poker is a personal freedom US residents should be able to participate in, and it could generate billions in revenue for the government.”

 

 

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