CAN AMERICANS LEGALLY PLAY POKER ONLINE?
by Alan Schoonmaker | Published: Jul 23, '11
Yes, we certainly can.
Preston Oade is a distinguished attorney who has successfully argued constitutional law cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He and John Pappas, the Executive Director of The Poker Players Alliance, debated ways to respond to the UIGEA on a radio show I hosted.
Arthur Reber is an eminent psychologist, the author of The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology and several books on gambling. I introduced them to each other, and I am delighted to see that they have made a convincing case that the UIGEA does not prohibit you from playing poker online. In fact, because Preston has read the entire UIGEA, I learned that the word, “poker,” does not appear anywhere in that law. You have only three problems:
1. Finding a website that will accept you
2. Investigating that website to be confident that your money is safe
3. Depositing money.
Unfortunately, The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has successfully waged a “campaign of fear.” The indictments of poker websites and banks were based entirely on laws that existed long before it became law, but the DOJ’s press releases have repeatedly mentioned the UIGEA to scare poker players. Their campaign of fear has been extremely successful. Many people believe that they can’t play online, and more than a few of them are even afraid of being arrested.
I urge you to read their first article, “Black Friday: The DOJ’s Campaign of Fear,” in Poker Player July 18, 2011. Then take the steps they recommend to continue playing poker online. However, you will certainly find that the games are much tougher than they once were.
Because only highly motivated American players will study the law, recognize their rights, and take the steps Preston and Arthur recommended. And who is more motivated, winners or losers?
The number of weaker players has dramatically dropped online, and relatively few new ones will replace them. Without weak players, the games will inevitably become much tougher. It’s the Darwinian evolutionary process I described in an earlier blog.
Preston recently sent me a draft of his article on The Barton Bill to legalize online poker. He makes a good case that it will make things worse for us. My next blog will include his position and my comments.