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Obama Response Does Nothing to Help Online Poker

21 May 2012, By:
On Friday, the Obama Administration gave its answer to America's petetion regarding online poker.
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Photo: (Reuters/Jim Young)

On Friday, the Obama Administration gave its answer to America's petetion regarding online poker.

The official stance is that poker is a matter that should be decided by each individual state.

Unlike the PPA, Poker Junkie blogger Compncards believes that the statement released is nothing new and wonders if the statement could hurt online poker.

Not Much New in the Official Response

The poker world received its long-awaited response to the online poker "petition" that didn't even get 10,000 signatures.

The following is the portion that everyone is focusing on:

"It is left to each state to determine whether it wishes to permit such activity between its residents and an online poker business authorized by that state to accept such wagers, but online gambling that is not authorized by state law may also violate federal statutes."

Hallelujah, the Obama administration supports online poker right? Not so fast.

The statement goes on to talk about how technologies can be circumvented to allow minors and others to play. It also talks about how there is greater risk for fraud and how it can be used for money laundering.

In the closing statement it says that the Administration is open to solutions that "would help guard against the use of online gambling sites as tools for conducting illegal activities or preying on unsuspecting individuals to the extent that online gambling is permitted."

In summary: online poker can be used for crime, citizens are vulnerable, but states can now decide.

Not As Promising as the PPA Believes

The PPA has been quoted as saying that the response to the petition was "promising" and that intrastate poker can move forward. Personally, I'm not so optimistic about how promising this statement is.

The statement does not give anything new in regards to intrastate poker. When the DOJ released its memo on the Wire Act, that was the point where intrastate poker moved forward.

All the email did was restate what we already knew. However, it may come back to hurt us in regards to federal legislation.

Any opponents to online legislation can point to this statement and say the Administration agrees that this is a tool for money laundering, fraud and preying on Americans.

Even those that support online poker will have to now answer each talking point in the Administrations response in order to cover all their bases. These points all existed before but now we have the attention of Congress and the Administration.

In the end, this statement does nothing to help intrastate poker and could very well hinder federal legislation.

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