According to Bloomberg Businessweek, ‘online poker should be dealt a fresh hand with regulation.’ They draw a parallel to the Powerball lottery and the fact that the government encourages ticket purchases, despite the fact that the chances of winning the ‘Big One” are 1 in 195,249,054. It is a monopolistic enterprise – that’s very clear. Lotteries reward very few people with large amounts of money for the very small effort of buying a random ticket.
Online poker on the other hand is a game of skill, but wagering in this card game online – which is as American as apple pie in its fairness – is treated with moral outrage; under the guise of ‘protecting vulnerable members of the population’. Do no vulnerable members of the US population spend their grocery budget on Powerball tickets?
Many states are considering legalizing intrastate poker, but this is hardly a solution.
Federal laws are required to provide protection for vulnerable members of the population. But people are still entitled to make their own choices. The nature of the internet is such that a patchwork of intrastate poker sites with varying legislation, will really not get the job done. However states realize the income potential, not only in terms of tax revenue, but job creation and spin-offs from this.
Reducing the danger of playing online gambling games lay with the Federal Government and regulation is best. Prohibition does not work, never has and never will. We only have to look at the damage caused by the DoJ with the closure of Full Tilt Poker to know this. UIGEA is a hotch-potch framework which does not clearly define ‘unlawful’. The global online gambling market share for US business has declined to 7% from 49% in 2006. Legalizing online gambling has been calculated to yield budget savings of $41.8 billion over ten years for the federal government, and $30 billion for US states. You can do the math, so can we; why not the Federal Government?Written by Neha A