Headlines: Poker, Law, and Politics (9/11/06)

Worth the Gamble (The Daily Reveille, 09/11/06)
“Rep. James Leach, R-Iowa, who helped introduce the bill, told Congress of the dangers of online gambling…”There are no social benefits for Internet gambling,” Leach said. “Betting with a credit card can undercut a player’s perception of the value of cash, leading to addiction, bankruptcy and crime.” Opponents of the bill had much to say to Congress about their problems with outlawing Internet gambling. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., said she could not support the hypocrisy of the bill, which includes special exemptions for betting on horse racing.”

The legal position for directors and shareholders (The Times, 09/11/06)
“The relevant legislation is the 1961 Interstate Wire Act. It is clear that sports betting via phone lines, which includes the internet, is illegal. Only one person – Jay Cohen, former president of World Sports Exchange – has been convicted for running an online gambling company and it’s notable that the company concerned was an online bookmaker. Sportingbet, similarly, is primarily a bookie but it does offer casino and poker gaming. It is harder to make the case that these products are illegal under the Wire Act. The US Department of Justice has stated that it regards online gambling as illegal.”

Press Release:
Online Poker Players Unite for Phone March on Washington (PocketFives, 09/11/06)
“In July, the United States House of Representatives passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act by an overwhelming margin, 317-93. Last week, the Senate resumed session after a three week recess and may discuss the bill, which would essentially eliminate the ability of Americans to gamble online in the United States. For online poker, a game of skill, this means suffering the same fate as sports betting, online blackjack, and other games of chance. “The threat to online poker is real. We need everyone possible to make their voice heard on September 12th from 9:00am to 5:30pm ET,” says Poker Players Alliance Spokesperson John Pappas.”


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