I don’t play poker for real money online. There are various reasons for this. One of those reasons is that the federal government apparently considers it illegal.
In the past, the feds have only gone after the poker houses, not the individuals looking for a game. But when PayPal stopped allowing people to fund their stakes through their online service (not coincidentally, about the time they were merged with eBay) it started to get more and more difficult to play poker online for money.
While I’m not really interested in playing poker online now, I might consider it if it were easier to do and legal. And it’s something I think adults should be allowed to do. When people object to it, I want to know the reason.
WTF, Deval? Is internet gambling such a problem in Massachusetts that you feel we need stricter laws to crack down?
At the same time Deval is going after the little guy for relaxing with an online poker game, Barney Frank has been fighting the federal ban. Instead of preventing online gambling, he’d like to license and regulate it. “It’s a free country” to me means allowing people to engage in activities they want to pursue, if they don’t infringe on other people’s rights.
But what annoys me further is this:
Patrick officials declined yesterday to explain the governor’s rationale for including the provision in the proposed legislation. They also would not respond to Frank’s comments.
Governor Patrick, we deserve an explanation of your objections. It can’t be based in morality, because this is the bill that allows three casinos to be built in the state.
Is this, perhaps, something slipped in there as a bonus to the casino companies, or perhaps to mollify supporters of the state lottery to help make all those involved parties more profitable?
I would take a dim view of new laws that solidify a restriction of our rights (and necessitating the spending of even more money from state coffers to enforce those laws) just to improve the bottom line of some companies.
And how about this bit of the bill:
Patrick’s provision, which is described in three paragraphs of the bill, applies to anyone in Massachusetts who places or receives a wager of any type using a telephone, cellphone, Internet, or local wireless networks. It also applies to anyone who knowingly installs equipment for transmitting wagers. The provision also specifically exempts the proposed casinos from the law.
Installing online poker software could certainly be characterized as “knowingly installing equipment for transmitting wagers.” Even if you don’t plan to use it for wagers. Are they going to monitor internet traffic to see if people are playing poker online? Will the play-money players be harassed in an effort to find the law-breakers?