Online poker in the U.S. is basically off-limits since the “Black Friday” shutdown of April 15, 2011. Of course, as with most examples of prohibition, this really hasn’t hurt the popularity of online poker, it’s just blocked access to the game.
In the months since Black Friday, and especially in the past few weeks, some of America’s leading news sources have continued to come out in favor of regulating online poker — and fast. Here are the best examples of those editorials.
Chicago The U.S. anti-online gambling stance is “senseless,” says the Chicago Sun-Times, pointing out that “there’s no federal law on the books criminalizing poker, and there never has been a federal court ruling that online poker is illegal.
“So, frankly, if there were any justice within the Department of Justice, we’d all be sitting in front of our laptops drawing to an inside straight by the end of business today.”
“Life changed drastically for professional online poker players in the wake of what many have come to call Black Friday,” writes the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“Yet this entire industry is being forced offshore. Why? To ‘protect’ American adults from the dangers of playing poker in the privacy of their own homes?
“Congress, having done all the harm it could arrange at present, is now on vacation. Once they return to Washington, Nevada’s delegation could find worse ways to spend their time than to push for legalized and sensibly regulated Internet poker.”
D.C. “Frankly, we’re tired of getting pushed around and treated like outcasts when we’re doing nothing wrong,” a Washington Post writer blogs. “Poker is as American as baseball and apple pie, and the game involves math, psychology, money management and a variety of other nuanced skills that make hitting a 90-mph fastball look simple.”
“Online poker is an unusual industry because it has actually asked the federal government to be taxed and regulated. It would be better for all concerned if that were the case,” according to the Baltimore Sun.
“If the government really wants to protect Americans from losing money on bad financial decisions, I have a long list of companies for them to go after. Dozens of companies wrecked the U.S. economy by pushing bad mortgages and bad mortgage-backed securities using questionable selling tactics that bordered on fraud and misrepresentation.”
Even super-conservative Fox News, big supporters of guys like Bill Frist and George W. Bush — who are responsible for the UIGEA in the first place — weighed in with this profile of the effects of the loss of online gambling income in the U.S.