Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Internet Poker and Gambling
The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. - Abraham Lincoln
Two good takes on the recently passed bill. The first comes from Geoffrey Norman from NRO:
I also assumed that the government had bigger fish to fry. I might have been willing to fly to Las Vegas to make my bets if air travel hadn’t been made into such an ordeal by the TSA (Thousands Standing Around). The pols still had some fine tuning to do there, I thought. Surely they wouldn’t be wasting time and money trying to stamp out gambling online as long as there was a passenger somewhere trying to bring a bottle of shampoo on an airplane in his hand luggage.

But I hadn’t counted on the relentless dedication of the people sent to Washington to do the nation’s business. I’d neglected the strength of their conviction that they know what is best for me, and if I disagree, well then, I’ll just have to go to jail for a while and think about it. I might believe that taking the Patriots and the points against the Bengals (won that one) is harmless and unlikely to cost me more than what some of the K-Street commandos spend on a single cocktail…but what do I know?
The second comes from Dr. Pauly at the Tao of Poker:
Poker players are gamblers at heart and some will take risks to maintain their fix. The world is filled with greedy people and they'll be several ruthless companies who'll flip the bird to the American courts and lawmakers that will take risks to gain access to the subculture of online poker players.

Then I look at a place like my hometown of New York City and try to figue out the future. Without online poker, the demand for new poker rooms and underground clubs will increase dramatically. Some daring entrepreneurs will open up new clubs and the players will come in droves. Whichever ethnic mafia running rooms is about to make a shitload of money in the Big Apple. Of course the police will have to get involved and spend time shutting down the rooms, just like cops in the 1920s busted up bathtub gins and speakeasies.

The right-wingers who were in favor of the anti-online poker legislation pulled out the terrorist card and said that online gambling sites can be a haven for terrorists to launder money. But by banning online poker, the NYPD will have to exhaust their already limited resources on busting up poker games rather than focusing on protecting our city from terrorists... which we're severely underprepared. Instead of cops breaking up terror cells, they'll be wasting their time keeping my brother, F Train, and The Rooster out of poker clubs in Chinatown. By trying to make our nation safer... the suits in Washington made my city more vulnerable.
My take (and my hope) is that there will some sort of backlash. Today a poker player or gambler can get a (fairly) honest game or bet online. If that is denied to them - then they will look toward a local home game for poker or local bookie for betting. If teachers, firemen and just regular Joes start getting arrested or fined - then there will be a political price to pay. It wouldn't surprise me if states started revising their poker laws to allow for home games or for bars to hold "poker nights". Such laws would be fairly popular. It also wouldn't surprise me if the state of Connecticut passed a law allowing the casinos at Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun to start taking bets on pro sports just like Las Vegas. The only thing that prevents that today is the threat of a pro team not wanting to move to Connecticut because of the gaming issue. I think Connecticut can come to grips with the fact that a pro team isn't relocating to Hartford and just go for the millions (possibly billions) in new taxable betting revenue.

If this new law is strictly enforced - then there will be hell to pay for the politicans who put it in place.

No comments:

Post a Comment