Online gambling measure attached to Port Security Bill in Senate

In case you have not yet heard yet, my dear friends (and I mean that in all sincerity, without sarcasm) in the Republican party have successfully attached an anti-online gambling act to a recent measure address port security. This was a saavy political move done by majority leader Bill Frist as a means of ensuring the measure would pass. Anyone voting against the bill would surely look weak on port security, something our country does need.

This law, when signed by George W. Bush in the next week, will crackdown on all types of banking (money transaction) firms that allow United States citizens to deposit funds into online gambling accounts. This essentially means no more sports betting, no more online casinos, and no more online Texas Hold-Em! Ye gads!

Generally, I am not someone who would use this space as a political commentary, especially not against the GOP (as I was up until today a generally happy member of the party), but this is complete absurdity. Our country needs to be repealing stupid laws, not adding additional ones! Plus, the bottom line is this will affect tens of millions of Americans (and that may be a low number) who like to have fun by playing harmless games online. Sure, I suppose Americans will still be able to play for free with play money, but anyone who plays these kinds of online games knows that whether you are playing for $1 or $100 of real money, playing for keeps is what makes these games exciting!

Awful…. just plain awful.

One of many resources:


  1. Wow, it’s rare to see us on the same side of a political issue πŸ™‚ Even though the vote was 400-2, it was introduced by two prominent GOP canidates who both are potential 2008 presidental nominations. Voting against the bill would give fire to the “weak on terrorism” tactics being used. Not only that, but how is Port Security related to Poker players? Maybe we’re considered terrorists now!

    On the plus side, this may not be the end-all to online poker. But it may be enough to scare away all the fish (especially now that PartyPoker has announced they will specifically ban US players.) Regardless, it is not good news for both casual poker players and those who play poker for a living and whose exploits we have enjoyed on TV.

    As always, Pauly’s The Tao of Poker is worth checking out for his view:

  2. I agree that it is ridiculous for this to be packed onto a bill that has nothing to do with gambling at all, but come on? Pauly is relating this to September 11th?!


    This doesn’t mean I’m against legalized gambling, as far as personal games go inside your house or even online gambling, but right now it IS illegal to gamble online so they might as well treat it like it’s illegal. Everyone complains about the government passing lots of legislation and never enforcing it, and when they finally do start enforcing some of it we complain. Hopefully it’s not the end to online poker, but at least the government is behind it’s decision for gambling to be illegal.

  3. Wow, Scott and I both bashing the Republican party? Dennis not voting Steele? This truly is momentous.

  4. Uh, what? It doesn’t say that online poker is illegal. (That was a DIFFERENT bill that added online gambling to the 1961 Wire Act.) The US government has never arrested anyone for playing online poker- its status at best is a gray area. Meanwhile, lots of people have been arrested for playing in home games. This isn’t an issue of enforcement: if it were already illegal, they’d enforce it under the provisions of the Wire Act.

    What this bill does is makes a statement about not liking online gambling and making it illegal to send money to a casino through your credit card or intermediary. There is NO provision for punishing someone for playing online poker for money in this bill, which there would be if it were illegal.

    Extensive examination of the bill here:

    Easier breakdown here:

  5. This new law does not make playing online poker illegal either. It makes it illegal to help Americans fund their online gambling accounts.

    One of the main reasons I call myself a “Republican” is because I insist on less government interference in my life. This is NOT what I had in mind. These laws surrounding morality are starting to get on my nerves.

  6. From the Washington Post linked:

    “Online gambling is generally illegal in most circumstances, but it is something that is difficult to enforce.”

    Gambling is illegal in most states.

  7. Still, the laws on this issue are going in the WRONG direction.

  8. >Gambling is illegal in most states.

    Then why does this bill make online casinos illegal in Nevada and New Jersey?

  9. Original Sultan says:

    “Then why does this bill make online casinos illegal in Nevada and New Jersey?”

    Or in Delaware, or Mississipi, etc.

    Are you suggesting that people be allowed to gamble online if they live in these states?

  10. I’m saying that it’s not illegal right now. And it’s faulty logic if the bill says “online poker is illegal because its illegal at the state level” when that’s not necessarily the case.


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