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AGA To Use Poker Movie To Push For Regulation

Reuters Reports That Casino Lobby Looks To Use Film To Advantage


Reuters reported that the U.S. casino lobby is going to be using the release of the online poker flick Runner, Runner to advocate the need for regulation on real-money Internet gaming activity.

According to an email obtained by Reuters, American Gaming Association President Geoff Freeman plans to argue that the movie displays the risks associated with a dodgy, unregulated market. The plan reportedly involves an ad campaign on the issue and even discussion screenings. Runner, Runner is set to hit theaters nationwide on September 27.

The plot reportedly involves: “Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake), is a Princeton student who is cheated out of his tuition money by playing online poker. When he learns that the site is hosted from a remote island location, he goes to confront the site’s corrupt owner, Ivan Block (Ben Affleck), but is lured into becoming Ivan’s protégé and right-hand man. Their relationship starts to reach a boiling point all while an FBI agent tries to use Richie to bring Ivan down.”

The movie is from the writers of Rounders.

The latter film played a key role in starting the poker boom in the early 2000s.

The American Gaming Association is the commercial casino industry’s top lobbying group on Capitol Hill. It has strongly argued for a federal online poker bill.

In the absence of such a measure, some states have moved forward on their own. Right now, Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware all have legalized online poker. Nevada already has games underway, while New Jersey and Delaware are looking to start in the new future.

There are a couple of federal online poker bills floating around right now in Washington, but both face long odds. Perhaps Runner, Runner can help.