Washington, DC (September 30, 2006) – In a Congressional back room deal, opponents of Internet gambling have added language to port security legislation that would prohibit online wagering. The port security bill with the Internet gambling prohibition language included was approved by the U.S House and Senate late on Friday evening and will be sent to the President to be signed into law.
“This last minute deal reeks of political gamesmanship. The American people should be outraged that Congress has hi-jacked a vital security bill with a poker prohibition that nearly three fourths of the country opposes,” said Michael Bolcerek, president of the Poker Players Alliance, a grassroots advocacy organization of more than 110,000 poker enthusiasts.
“Allowing this bill to become law, would run contrary to public opinion and would damage an already fractured relationship between government and the electorate. The millions of Americans who enjoy playing this great game will have the last voice in this debate come Election Day.”
Bolcerek pointed to research which shows that 74 percent of Americans oppose federal attempts to ban Internet poker. http://www.pokerplayersalliance.org/press_releases/pr040406.html
“Congress has an opportunity to regulate and tax online poker leading to potentially billions of dollars in annual revenue for the federal government and the states,” said Bolcerek. “If the goal of Congress is to protect people from the possible dangers of gambling, a prohibition is the worst way of achieving it. All it will do is push poker underground, essentially creating online speakeasies, which will provide no protection for youths, no services for the problem gambler and leave only the most unscrupulous operators in the game.”