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PPA Steps Up Fight to Keep Online Poker Legal,
But Misses On Some Critical Points

The Poker Player's Alliance (PPA) is cranking up its vocal chords to make sure the public hears its message about keeping online poker legal.

Legal_copyAs we've detailed, recent legislation has been introduced by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-VA) to color the gray area that is online gambling black, which will cost some big-time companies a lot of green (and provide the founders of Wicked Chops Poker, like Chops at right, with a windfall of newfound free-time).

The most concise and pointed of its efforts comes from the PPA's president, Michael Bolcerek, who wrote an op-ed in Jo Ann Davis' home paper outlining four key points why outlawing (so-called) "Internet" poker is wrong:

1) Banks will be deputized by the Justice Department, harming consumer's privacy.
2) One we like to call (as of now) the "hypocrisy issue." While Davis's and others' bills would outlaw certain forms of gambling (i.e. Internet poker), it keeps horse racing and state lotteries legal.
3) The bill requires Internet service providers remove or disable access to online sites that it deems a violation.
4) The Treasury Department, Justice Department, and FBI will be required to enforce the provisions of the bill, taking resources away from more valuable things things like, perhaps, national security.

While all points have some credence, the privacy and hypocrisy issues carry the most weight.  Point #3 just seems like an inevitable off-shoot from the legislation, and point #4, well, if the same resources that would monitor Internet gambling are sniffing out terrorists, then we're probably in more trouble than we realize.  Which reminds us, fuck Al-Qaeda. 

However, the PPA must weave the following into its argument to make it truly effective...

...Do the costs of the Government outlawing and monitoring Internet gambling justify the the supposed gain?  Who exactly is the Government protecting?  The American public from itself?  Can a rational argument be made that an addiction to Internet gambling has worse effects on an individual than an addiction to alcohol or tobacco, which are legal?

PpThe Government does regulate and tax alcohol and tobacco, two things the American public clearly wants and does not mind having taxed.  So why not regulate Internet gambling like alcohol and tobacco?  As 60 Minutes detailed last year, it's estimated that the U.S. Government lost out on $1.2 billion in revenue by NOT regulating Internet gambling last year on your favorite sites like Poker Stars, Bodog, Full Tilt, and Party Poker (at left). 

So it's a win-win situation.  By legalizing and regulating Internet gambling, the public gets to (officially, legally) enjoy something it's already doing in mass volume, while the Government reaps financial rewards from regulating and taxing it. 

If a winning argument and campaign to keep the Government from outlawing Internet gambling is to be made, it must address not only why the Government should not regulate Internet gambling, but why it should

Because as is the case with everything in America, the bottom-line is always about the bottom-line...and there is some serious money to be made by keeping Internet gambling legal.

To learn more about the PPA, visit their site and sign-up for their cause.

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