News of Gambling Legislation Once Again Stirs the Poker Pub Crowd...

Well, we're back on the legislation watch here at the Poker Pub. And of course, that calls for me to be on my soapbox pushing common sense to the "leaders" of our country that they obviously turned in when they took office. This time, I'm not only talking to/about the US Government, but now also the state of Washington as well.

First off, thanks to Haley's post, I had come across this last night and was able to digest the news and give it some additional thought.

News broke that the "great" (eyes now rolling) state of Washington has enacted laws banning "interaction with any device or terminal involving…any game of chance including…poker or other cards." Of course, this goes on to say that there is no governing body to enforce this law, nor does it address how they plan to monitor one's online endeavers. Furthermore, the sponsors of the bill are well known to have taken several campaign contributions from several of the brick and mortor casinos located within the state of Washington on reservation land.

Additional reports cite that the federal government has starting moving on the bogus Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, sponsored by the idiot rep from Virginia Bob Goodlatte. The judiciary sub-committee voted on Wednesday to endorse the act. Next stop is the entire judiciary committee, who I might remind that there was a survey conducted on whether or not the people believed online gambling should be outlawed.

This Internet Gambling Prohibition Act is not a good thing at all...

For starters, (listen up Washington)... Poker is an American Pastime. People from all walks of life, from members of congress, to chief justices justices, to the "common American" have played poker. Poker is not a "bad thing." We "permit" it in casinos. Yet, we try to make it "bad" by throwing the gut wrenching "I-word" in front of it, referring to it as "internet poker" and suddenly, its saturated with negative bias. Gotta love the art of spin.

Poker is not a game of chance, it is a game of skill. Poker players must grasp the concept of money management, strategy, psychology, and math. By way of comparison, the state run lottery is not as demanding (yet, the act wishes to establish and maintain the legallity of playing the state run lottery online, go figure).

Next, these tools are walking all over our individual freedoms, as in order to enforce this hostile act, they will need to increase the level of surveillance of our private affairs without having sufficient cause. As Americans, is this not an infringement of our personal freedoms and civil liberties?

This "act" requires our financial institutions (the banks we trust with our money) to babysit us. Its requiring "Joe Banker" to monitor our activities, review our checks and debit card transactions to ensure we're not "gambling online." With this act's approval, the government will be telling us how we are permitted to use the money in which we've earned. This is sending a clear message that we may not play poker in our homes, but instead, we should get out there, spend the money on the inflated gasoline, drive to the casino where the rules all change... we can go there and play, but not in the comfort of our own home.

Additionally, Rep. Idiot of VA wishes to force the internet service providers to remove gambling related links upon court order. Said another way, they're moving to censor us - blocking access to content they do not "approve of." This would be the same thing we "shamed" China for doing. Our citizens, last I checked, have a right to the free flow of information via the newspapers and internet.

Finally, this legislation is hypocritical at best. Online poker is illegal under the act, yet betting on horse racing, playing the state run lottery, and fantasy football leagues played for money are permitted. It should be noted, by the way that this is nearly the EXACT SAME BILL that the evil Jack Abramoff was pushing for. We all remember Jack, don't we? He was the guy making all kinds of "illegal donations" to politician trying desperately to get a bill passed for his "client," who ironically was... a company called eLottery. His goal was not to legalize online gambline... it was in fact to try to gain special legal protections for his client and online lotteries. Go figure, the people now fighting his battle are attempting to confuse the population into believing that passing these laws will show Jack that we won't be corrupted. Last I checked, you "show" someone something of this nature by not passing the similar bill that he was trying to bribe a brotha into passing?

I encourage each and every person who comes across this entry of mine to do the following:

1. Write or call your local or state representative and alert him/her of your position on this matter.

2. Write or call your congressman.

3. Send a letter to the editor of your newspaper.

4. Join the Poker Players Alliance and help us fight to keep poker legal.

No mailbag tonight, as I wish to just focus on this issue.