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Americans to Obama: Legalize Online Poker!

May 14, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — An online survey released by the U.S. White House this week shows what's really on Americans' minds when it comes to priorities for the new president. Among the most important action items is "Boost American Economy with Legal Online Poker".

The report, called the Citizen’s Briefing Book, compiled the opinions of 125,000 U.S. citizens in an effort to illustrate to the new president what his priorities should be, as defined by the public he serves. The report is officially addressed “to President Barack Obama, from the American people”.  

The suggestions are broken down into 10 categories: Economy, Education, Energy & Environment, Foreign Policy, Health Care, Homeland Security, Service, Technology, Veterans, and Additional Issues.

Number one on the list of Technology suggestions: “Boost America’s Economy with Legal Online Poker” (followed closely by “Restore Net Neutrality Protections to the Internet”, an issue that’s also relevant to the iGaming industry given the recent censorious activities in Minnesota).

"Let online poker players in the United States play legally and without fear of prosecution," the report quotes a voter's opinion. "Reform the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act to exempt poker, a game of skill, from the law. Boost the economy by letting American companies and American players make money and pay taxes instead of sending online poker businesses offshore. Protect online poker players by regulating the industry to ensure that no one is ever cheated." 

Sure, this is a document of opinions, and not one of official policy. But, given President Obama's focus on popular issues, as well as his general popularity in the U.S., it's very likely that he'll heed at least some of the report's suggestions.

In addition to the welcome news that Americans really, really want to get online poker legalized, this story is also significant because the Washington Post chose to highlight online poker as one of the three most important conclusions from the report. Combined with the recent surge of interest from the mainstream news industry on the issue of legalized online gambling (see yesterday’s story in the L.A. Times here), the media coverage of online gambling legal issues is rapidly growing, which is likely to help Barney Frank's drive to repeal the UIGEA bans.

Click here to read the Washington Post’s writeup on the story; click here to read the Citizens Briefing Book directly at the official White House website.