Black Friday, one month later
The Internet poker issue continues to dominates the business media, in the U.S. and abroad.
Skill vs chance debate renewed
Black Friday has re-ignited the global debate over whether poker is a game of skill or chance — and whether it’s fair to classify it as gambling if it is indeed based on skill.
For his part, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the boss of all those FBI and DoJ agents who raided the online poker sites last month, dodges the question, saying he “wouldn’t answer the question because it was beyond his capabilities,” PokerNews.com reports.
What he is certain about is that the prosecutions will continue. “We have to enforce the law as it exists. There are laws on the books in regards to Internet gambling that we have to enforce. We recently announced an action by the Southern District of New York. It is for Congress to decide what the law is going to be, and then we will enforce those laws.”
The skill vs chance debate has been taken up by the popular Freakonomics co-author Steven D. Levitt, who writes that, to who’s “ever played poker, it would seem self-evident that poker is a game of skill. If you need any further evidence, Tom Miles, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, and I recently wrote a paper that uses data from the 2010 World Series of Poker to confirm what was already obvious with data.”
Fahrenkopf steps up
Popular political site The Hill provided American Gaming Association (AGA) president and CEO Frank Fahrenkopf with a forum to communicate his opinions on the matter.
“With a few minor changes in existing legislation, Congress can create thousands of new jobs almost immediately and raise at least $20 billion in new tax revenues over the next decade,” Fahrenkopf wrote.
Though it wasn’t too long ago that his group officially opposed online gambling regulation, Fahrenkopf has stepped up in recent weeks to lead the movement in favor of such regulations.
Fahrenkopf, with Boyd Gaming president Keith Smith, Ameristar Casinos CEO Gordon Kanofsky, and Isle of Capri Casinos president Virginia McDowell, testified at a news conference this week “that regulation at the federal level would provide certainty to the industry and stronger safeguards for consumers,” reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Fahrenkopf still holds a great deal of influence in Washington, D.C., where he was Chairman of the Republic National Committee for most of the 1980s.
He’s also slated to be the keynote speaker at the iGaming Super Show, being held in Dublin from the 24th to the 26th of May. Get more details on that here.
More media support
The media is, by and large, enthusiastically supporting the calls for greater online gambling regulations. The Motley Fool offers its arguments here, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s argument can be found here.
“Moralizing about the special disgrace of Internet gambling comes off hypocritical at a minimum when nearly every state in the union nods at bricks-and-mortar gaming,” adds Kevin Libin at the Financial Post. “It’s also financially reckless.”
“If [the shutdown] is a campaign driven by special interests, whether by the professional sports leagues (with their own associations to Las Vegas based casino capitalism) and individual U.S. states with well-developed betting structures in place, it is self-serving,” writes Andrew F. Cooper at the Toronto Star.
“If alternatively, it is an authentic morality-driven campaign, it reveals just how exceptional the U.S. is in how it defines its priorities according to the embedded tenets of social conservatism even in the years of the Obama presidency.”