Online poker bill still fighting uphill battle

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 03, 2010 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

Despite a 41-22 vote sending HR 2267 out of the House Financial Services Committee, the bill that seeks to legalize and regulate online gambling still has a long way to go before becoming law. Even more troublesome could be the rhetoric being “quoted” by the opponents of the bill.

As most poker players will tell you, “show me the data.” However, opponents of the bill that find gambling morally reprehensible just need a so-called expert to state something, and it immediately becomes fact in their minds. For instance in an ABC News article from today a man called only Chuck from Gamblers Anonymous was asked if online gambling has swelled the ranks of compulsive gamblers? Chuck’s answer, “unequivocally YES!”The article then goes on to say: “Chuck had no hard data to support this assertion, only anecdotal evidence.” Maybe someone should clue Chuck in to the UK study –with real statistics—that show there has been no increase in problem gambling since the inception of online gambling.

And then there is my new least favorite person Rep. Spencer Bacchus (R-AL) who calls online poker “the worst form of gambling…The crack-cocaine of gambling.” Now Bacchus is basically saying college age students have no self-control, and many would turn to it because, “when you put a computer in the bedroom or dorm room of a young person, the temptation is too great for many of them to resist.” Thanks for all the faith in America’s young adults Rep. Bacchus!

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