Op-Ed – Conservative pens online poker

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jan 15, 2011 Posted in Op-Ed | No Comments »

When you think about conservative pundits and commentators you usually don’t think they will be strong advocates of legalizing and regulating the online poker industry considering a strong percentage of the conservative base is vehemently opposed to gambling of any kind, but this is precisely what conservative commentator Michelle Minton has become. Minton wrote a second op-ed piece for the Washington Times on Wednesday, urging Congress to take action on online poker.

Minton is no stranger to online poker enthusiasts as she has written extensively about the topic for many poker media outlets, but since the mainstream media picked up the issue –thank you Harry Reid—Minton has been getting her pro-online poker message out to a wider audience, and her conservative roots allow her to speak to a crowd that would typically tune-out any gambling speech, regardless of the coherency of the argument.

Unlike her first op-ed that appeared in Forbes back during the online poker debate that was taking place in December, this time around Minton foregoes the constitutional and financial reasons for legalizing the industry, and instead focuses on the faces of the online poker world. Minton does an excellent job of debunking the myth that online poker players are lazy do-nothings, degenerate gamblers, and college kids; instead Minton describes four avid online poker players and their reasons for participating in the game.

Painting the face of online poker in terms of a former Peace Corps worker who was unable to find work; a disabled women who uses the $75 or so she makes each month by playing micro-stakes poker to help with her prescription costs; a student who has paid for his tuition through online poker; and a family man who plays poker at night simply as a part-time job.

All too often we hear the professional poker players’ side of the story, and how important online poker is to their livelihood, but lost in the shuffle are the stories like the ones Minton outlines, of people who may not rely on poker as their sole means of sustenance, but have been able to dramatically improve their quality of living through online poker.

Minton is able to make the political argument for online poker legislation in a clear concise way, producing talking points we should all echo, and in addition to these excellent points about added revenue and liberties, it’s also important that we look at all people affected by the current online poker climate, and not focus on the people who are most affected.

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