Thousands of lobbyists rally in Washington to legalize online poker for US players on Monday while TOPS-Poker questions their motives.
Online PR News – 09-May-2011 – – TOP-Poker.org, a strategy and advice website for poker players around the world, announced today that the topic of online poker is still an extremely popular topic in Washington. The Poker Players Alliance and several other lobbyist groups have spent the past three weeks bombarding members of Congress and the House of Representatives with emails, phone calls, and other types of communications to demand legislation that will once and for all repeal the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act and legalize online poker in the United States.
While the voices of these political groups may sound in unison, there are actually several other factors at play behind the scenes. Some lobbyists are demanding this change on behalf of the land-based casinos that stand to profit billions of dollars if online poker was legalized and regulated within the United States, while others simply see legalization as an excellent source of long-term tax revenue. Foreign-based online casinos are also rumored to be using their contacts inside Washington to convince Congress to uphold former rulings made by the World Trade Organization, which stated that blocking foreign casinos from soliciting US customers violated numerous trade pacts.
Surprisingly enough, the five year stance shared by Congress that claimed online gambling is immoral is no longer being argued, which some take as evidence as to the US government's future intentions. Many speculate that the online poker shutdowns by the Department of Justice was simply a precursor to the government launching their own online poker network, which would make it extremely convenient for them to almost immediately seize most of the US market-share without competing against foreign-based entities.
"The online poker shutdowns has nothing to do with illegal online gambling, corrupting our youth, or saving Americans from evil foreign businesses," said Steven Hastings, a spokesperson for TOPS-Poker. "If that were the case, one of the biggest Casino franchises in the US wouldn't have ended up in cahoots with the owner of Full Tilt or our Senate Majority Leader; they've been pushing for this for years. This is about stealing an entire industry so that a few wealthy individuals can become even wealthier...plain and simple."
Hastings went on to explain that even though four of the largest poker websites have been blocked from conducting business in the United States, there were many existing poker websites lining up to take their place. The protests in Washington may appear to be about promoting legalized online poker and the rights of the US-based gamblers, but an even stronger undercurrent is driving these political groups like wildfire.
"Every single day that passes without repealing the UIGEA, foreign-based gaming sites like Lock Poker are seizing a tremendous amount of the market share." Hastings added on Monday. "The delay is not because our elected representatives do not want to see online poker inside the United States...they just do not know how to legalize it and ban all of their overseas competitors at the same time. It can not be done without violating about fifty international laws that promote free trade between the US and the rest of the world."