Was Annie Duke out of line for calling Online Poker Illegal

Posted by James Guill on Sep 08, 2011 Posted in Poker News | 1 Comment »

Annie Duke appeared on the Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson on Monday to hype both her new book and the Epic Poker League.  During that interview, when asked whether poker was illegal, she made the statement of “only online.”   Since then, there has been a ton of speculation why she said that and here are a few of my thoughts regarding her statement.

Online Poker Has No Impact on the Epic Poker League

Annie is the commissioner of the Epic Poker League, a league that has openly stated that they do not take online poker stats into consideration for league cards.  The only way that a person can earn their card is through live tournament play.

As such, Annie is under no obligation to try and tow the line in regards to claiming that online poker is 100% legal.  I am not saying that she is trying to sabotage online poker, but she isn’t obligated to try and build up an industry that has no impact on her league’s bottom line.

She Said It Because Online Poker IS Illegal in the U.S.

Sorry folks, but technically, Annie is right.  Online poker is illegal in the United States.  The UIGEA makes it illegal for U.S. banks to process online gambling monies.  When a site processes a payment or even a withdrawal, they are breaking the law.  The players making the deposits are in most cases knowingly breaking the law.  The fact of whether the actual playing of poker is legal is negated by the fact that part of the process is illegal, which as far as the law is concerned, makes the whole thing illegal.

Annie’s Statement Stirs Up Controversy

People were quick to speak out against her brief statement.  Some point back to her associations with UB and wonder if she really considered what she was doing then illegal.  At the same time, her brother Howard Lederer is facing lawsuits and Full Tilt is under indictment.  (Howard is widely known as one of the main owners in Full Tilt.)  Did she admit on national TV that her brother was involved in illegal activity?

Others are upset that Annie did not “tow the corporate line” and say that online poker is legal.  Some feel her statements will confuse the general public into running from the game when many feel the game is perfectly legal.

Much Ago About Nothing?

Personally, I am wondering whether some people are reading way too much into her statement.  She was there to promote a book and a league and the question was generalized regarding poker.  Based on current U.S. law, she gave the answer that was, in my opinion, the most accurate.

There wasn’t a long debate on the matter.  She stated that live poker was perfectly legal and then went into her book and the EPL.  That is what she was there for.  Ferguson did not expound on the topic, and really didn’t need to do so.

Annie Duke is a widely known public figure and her words are indeed listened to by many.  However, to apply a little Freudian theory, sometimes an answer is just an answer and not a call to arms.  Take her interview at face value and don’t dissect it for political value.  Save that for when she is on Fox News or CNN.



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One Response to “Was Annie Duke out of line for calling Online Poker Illegal”

  1. Matthew says:

    The only online poker worth playing that can save you a ton of money is the rakefree rooms anyway…they have a bunch of fish too.

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