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Greenstein: Obama Privately Supports Online Poker

Hall of Famer Makes Connection Between Gay Marriage and Poker

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On Wednesday, President Barack Obama said he supports same-sex marriage in the United States. While the event was historic for the gay community, it has stirred up some conversation about other issues.

Early Thursday, poker professional and Hall of Famer Barry Greenstein took to Twitter to connect President Obama’s announcement to the plight of ostracized poker players.

He said that the nation’s top politician supports efforts to legalize web card playing, but just won’t admit it.

In April 2011, the Department of Justice indicted the three major offshore poker sites (Greenstein represents PokerStars) in a sweeping raid that closed out the game to many Americans.

The three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner also compared the two issues:

However, the “equivalency” of Greenstein’s initial position was questioned by gaming attorney Stuart Hoegner.

“My problem is with the implication that the two rights are somehow equivalent,” Hoegner said. “I support both rights, but they aren’t the same, nor are they equivalent. One is a fundamental issue of civil rights and human dignity.”

“Online poker is an economic right and a personal freedom that, while important, does not and should not be accorded the same level of urgency as a state law discriminating on the basis of someone’s sexual orientation. I like to play Internet poker and I think I should be allowed to play online, but I would never say that my right to attend an online cardroom is as imperative as someone’s right to state recognition of and respect for one of their closest and most intimate relationships. They clearly aren’t rights worthy of the same deference and protection.”

Stuart Hoegner“Barry is an exceedingly smart guy, an incredible poker player, and a passionate advocate for the game. I’m certain that his comment was very much an off-the-cuff remark that he hadn’t fully thought through and that he didn’t mean as it came across.”

Efforts to legalize online gaming nationwide have, so far, failed to gain any real traction in Congress. Some states are pursuing the activity, thanks in part to the Department of Justice adjusting its stance on intrastate web gaming late last year.

 
 
 
 

Comments

Brandon1
almost 7 years ago

George W. Bush signed the UIGEA that was passed by the Republicans in the House and the Senate. President Obama did not sign that bill into law, get your facts straight.

 
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mikiencali
almost 7 years ago

BRANDON.WHO'S DOJ SHUT DOWN THE POKER SITES?OBAMA'S YOU MORON.

 
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Greg2
almost 7 years ago

Just ignore I P Freely. Everyone else does.

 
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mikiencali
almost 7 years ago

GREG2.IS THAT YOUR IQ?WHO IS THE PRESIDENT THAT SHUT DOWN THE SITES AND ONLINE POKER MORON?OBAMA'S DOJ THAT'S WHO.KEEP BLAMING BUSH FOR EVERYTIHING IDIOT.I'M NOT A BUSH FAN,BUT I'M NOT AN IDIOT LIBERAL LIKE YOU AND BRANDON.BUSH NEVER SHUT DOWN THE SITES,OBAMA DIDDDDDDDDDDDD.

 
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emetjr
almost 7 years ago

By all means get the facts straight. UIGEA was tacked on to the Port Security Act it had previously been defeated as a stand alone bill. The bill passed by a vote of 421-2 in the House and 98-0 in the Senate. It was passed by both Dems and Reps and despite being passed in 2006 it took Dems gaining control before it was enforced.

 
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robtr3
almost 7 years ago

I agree with Stuart Hoegner save for his suggestion that Barry Greenstein's tweet was "off the cuff [and not] fully thought through." It looks to me like Barry Greenstein was merely lamenting on the reality that most politicians keep potentially disagreeable opinions/positions to themselves rather than go on record and risk doing political damage. Lord knows, just about every time President Obama talks about something seemingly trivial (case in point: college basketball and his tournament bracket) the first words out many mouths go something like "aren't there more important things for him to be doing?" like he's in dereliction of his duty by even thinking about anything other than the economy and troop withdrawal from the Middle East.

In short, while Hoegner certainly makes a valid point his comments amount to little more than a half-baked put-down.

 
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1Acehigh
almost 7 years ago

Bill Frist Is the one RESPONSIBLE, that CROOK. He knowingly attached it to the Safe Port Act @ the 11th hr. KNOWING It would get signed.

 
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mikiencali
almost 7 years ago

ALL YOU IDIOT LIBERALS THAT BLAME BUSH FOR EVERYTHING ARE MORONS.I'M NOT A BUSH FAN,BUT OBAMA IS THE ONE WHO SENT THE DOJ TO SHUT DOWN THE POKER SITES,NOT BUSH.IF YOU WERE PRESIDENT BRANDON1 OR GREG2 WOULD YOU OF LET THE DOJ SHUT DOWN POKER SITES?OBAMA DID.

 
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mikiencali
almost 7 years ago

BL FRIST IS A PIECE OF SHIT.

 
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ThePsycho
almost 7 years ago

Bill Frist is a Republican so is John Kyl from Arizona. Both men spearheaded UIGEA. If you're going to blame anyone, you have to blame those to men who cause the major poker lockdown during the Bush Era and in 2011.

 
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mikiencali
almost 7 years ago

Psycho.Bush hasnt't been President in 3 years genius.Obama's people are the ones who shut down the site.

 
 

brum747
almost 7 years ago

The DOJ obviously felt they had a reason to shut a bunch of crooks down before they did anymore damage.UB\AP -everyone already knew how shady those guys were. Stars were stand up guys(as far as anyone knows) and just got caught in the crossfire. But FullTilt needed to be shut down.But bottom line is the DOJ let people keep playing online poker while they investigated and the conclusion was they found bunch of cheats and crooks.And i bet none of those guys pay back shit and not get any jailtime either.

 
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clunker
almost 7 years ago

Freist, Kyl and Leach the morals police tacked on a last second attachment to The Safe Ports Bill that had to be passed. After that instead of following the law and taking legal recourse to have online poker legalized some of the poker sites just ignored the law. By following this course of action legal online poker has been delayed for years[of course FTP had a good reason they were stealing there players blind]. In so doing these sites bribed bank officials and laundered money to compound there crimes. As Bush had no say over what was included in The Port Protection Act Obama can not dictate to the DOJ how to enforce the law. Your infantile name calling makes you irrelevant to any intelligent discussion about this topic mikiencali.

 
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mikiencali
almost 7 years ago

You show your unintelligence when you say Obama had no control over the DOJ.He has control over everything.Holder and the head of the 9th District are Obama's appointies aren't they?Obama is their boss.Kyl,Frist,Leach,are all scums.They AREN'T in control anymore,Obama is.Bush didn't know that was in the Port Act.Obama did know they were shutting down the sites.He ISSSSS the President now not Bush.For 3 and half years.You are all just tryig to make up excuses for that moron like you always do.

 
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mikiencali
almost 7 years ago

ONE LAST TIME FOR ALL OF YOU WITH NO BRAINS.OBAMA IS PRESIDENT NOT BUSH.IT WAS HOLDER AND THE HEAD OF THE 9TH DISTRICT,WHO ARE OBAMA'S APPOINTEES,WHO CLOSED DOWN THE SITES,NOT BUSH APPOINTED PEOPLE.AS PRESIDENT HE KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON.IF YOU THINK HE DIDN'T YOU MUST OF VOTED FOR OBAMA TO BE THAT DUMB.

 
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clunker
almost 7 years ago

Like I said mikisncali if you think the President of The USA dictates to the DOJ how to enforce the law you are totally out of touch with reality. You are irrelevant because of your infantile name calling.

 
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mikiencali
almost 7 years ago

You think the President doesn't dictate what the DOJ does and you say i'm out of touch with reality.Who appointed Holder and the head of the 9th district?Who is their boss?Obama!!!!!You are irrelevant because of your stupidity.

 
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clunker
almost 7 years ago

Since you obviously can not hold a civil intelligent discussion have a good day Mr. irrelevant..

 
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xIcemanxx
almost 7 years ago

a persons right to make a living is equally important to a persons right to marry and or gain insurance and tax advantages. This isn't about love, if it were you wouldn't need marriage.

 
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clunker
almost 7 years ago

I usually try to be civil with the discussions here but you must have peed on your hands once to often Freely. You obviously do not have a clue about what happened with UIGEA. So you know and you don't come off as some mindless dope. And even though I'm sure the truth and facts will just confuse you here goes. The Bush justice dept. pushed Uigea and banking regulation through as fast as possible to avoid allowing the Obama justice dept. to just repeal them. The next administration can repeal any regulation that is passed within the last 60 days of the previous administration. UIGEA banking regulations were signed into law by Bush on 1/19/09 one day before Obama became Pres.Once it is signed into law it has to be enforced. Now I know you won't understand any of this but I still posted it.

 
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clunker
almost 7 years ago

Reality Bush's justice dept. cobbled together a horrible set of banking regulations at the last second while the US economy was circling the toilet bowl. Bush signed these regulations into law on 1/19 09. His last day in office at that point the law has to be enforced until new laws can be written.

 
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YeeDoggy
almost 7 years ago

All the bickering about which party is responsible for shutting down online poker isn't going to bring it back.

Hoegner's statement that one issue is about human dignity the other is about civil rights, therefore not as important, is smug. Tell that to someone who was making a living playing poker online and now is scrambling to feed his family. Both are important, you can still be gay and continue your livelihood, if your livelihood was playing poker online, now you have to uproot your family and move to Vegas, or Canada or even Russia, where the civil right still exist.

Truthfully, the only candidate running, Ron Paul, that would do anything about it, is someone that people label as "looney". It kills me to see people whine about their freedoms being take away and then trash a man that will stand-up for them. We don't deserve any freedoms, so stop you whining already.

Keep voting for the bought candidates like Romney and Obama with the expectation that our freedoms will hold-up. You're drawing-dead donk and deserve to lose all of your chips(freedoms).

 
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