This is the headline many American citizens want to see when they open up their morning paper, or check out their favorite news site. Unfortunately, we’re not quite there yet but it seems we’re heading in the right direction. After all, Barack Obama himself is known to enjoy a good game of poker so why wouldn’t he work towards legalizing online poker for US players? There are two things you should be thinking about. First, what can Obama do as the president to make online poker accessible to US players. Secondly, as a supporter of US online poker, what can you do? JOKER123
The reality is that the laws that deal with online poker in the US are unclear and misunderstood by the public and by politicians. These laws also took years to implement so it should be expected that it could take years to abolish or amend them. Obama cannot simply make them go away overnight and must follow a process to bring change. The likelihood that current laws will simply be abolished is pretty much null. Instead, existing laws would probably end up being modified in order to make their intent and context clearer. The introduction of new laws with a similar purpose is another approach the government could use. The famous Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) has probably been to most misunderstood law that has been used as mass propaganda to scare US online poker players. Let me be very clear about the UIGEA: This law does not target US online poker players in any way, nor does it target poker specifically. The law targets operators and institutions involved in the transfer of funds relating to online gambling. In fact, this law only serves to strengthen other previously existing laws relating to gambling.
The primary problem has to do with the term gambling vs the term poker. Gambling laws tend to classify gambling as “games of chance” where you roll the dice and let lady luck decide your fate. The argument with poker is that it isn’t really a game of chance, but rather a game of skill. While it is recognized that there is an aspect of luck to the game, poker players around the world will tell you that there is a lot of strategy to it which makes it different, unique, and excluded from those laws.
Will US online poker players see a brighter future ahead? All signs point to yes! It all started with a recent decision handed down by an eastern Pennsylvania judge who decreed that poker is a game of skill rather than luck. A similar court ruling followed in Colorado shortly after, and more of these rulings can only help US online poker players. In addition, as the new Congress begins its work under the Obama’s leadership, House of Representatives member Barney Frank (D-MA) has expressed his intention to reintroduce legislation designed to counter the effects of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). Indeed, the future seems bright for all US online poker players!
For many Americans, Obama represents hope for a better future on a series of issues. He is an inspiration and a role model to many, but he cannot accomplish anything on his own. What can you do to help the cause? Speak your mind and let Obama know that you support online poker in the US.