- Talking Points: Why Congress Should Regulate Internet Poker
– Can Internet Gambling Be Effectively Regulated? Managing the Risks – Malcolm K. Sparrow
– Who Plays Poker?
– Games of Skill and Games of Chance: Poker as a Game of Skill
– Talking Points: Regulated I-Gaming Provides Strong Consumer Protections and Federal Enforcement
– Talking Points: Tribal Governments and Poker Legislation
– Talking Points: Online Gaming and the Challenge of Problem Gambling
- The Wire Act does not apply to online poker
– Conservative Opposition to the Reintroduction of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (H.R. 707)
– Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Legislation 1999-2006 Issues of States’ Rights
– Internet Poker Prohibition is Bad Public Policy
– Why Americans Should Oppose Internet Poker Prohibition
– Why Lawmakers Should Oppose Internet Poker Prohibition
- Internet Poker in California is Good Public Policy
– Talking Points for HB305/SB428, the Maryland Home Games Protection Bill
– Regulating Online Gaming – A Central Component in Putting Atlantic City “Back on Track”
– Legalizing Internet Poker in New Jersey is Good Public Policy
– An Evaluation of the Effects of Online Poker on State Lotteries – FairPlay USA
– What does “intra-state” Poker Mean for You as a Poker Player
On April 15th, the Department of Justice launched an unprecedented crackdown on Internet poker. The DoJ targeted the three largest Internet poker sites that take play from individuals located in the U.S. The domain names of the sites have were seized, and the sites have ceased all operations in the U.S., such that an estimated 6 to 8 million Americans who played on these websites are not able to do so.
This study was commissioned by Wired Safety, an Internet Safety and Educational charity. It examines a range of harms potentially associated with online gambling, and alternative methods for mitigating or minimizing them. Recognizing that the current U.S. prohibitionist regime with respect to online gambling is largely ineffective in achieving its aims, and provides no platform or opportunity for the implementation of most of the relevant harm-reduction strategies, we find that an alternative regime of legalization and regulation of online gambling would likely improve consumer welfare and protections.
Quick Facts: More than an estimated 55 million Americans play poker. Of those, an estimated 15 Million Americans play on-
line poker for money. And who are these poker players? A recent survey of PPA Members found:
- More than 72% of PPA Members have at least some college education.
– More than 75% of PPA Members are between 30-64 years of old.
– 47% of PPA Members earn more than $50,000 a year.
– More than 30% of PPA Members are Independents.
The Poker Players Alliance is a nonprofit organization whose members are poker players and enthusiasts from around the United States. The Alliance works to protect the legal rights of poker players and advocates rational gaming laws at the state and federal level. In this White Paper, the Alliance describes the role that skill plays in determining the outcome of a game of poker, and offers an overview of the scientific studies that address that question. This paper devotes particular attention to Texas Hold’em, the most popular poker game and the one to which the most study has been devoted.
– Internet gambling and p2p online poker in the United States is common, despite federal and state laws aimed at combating it. For example, an estimated 10 million Americans played p2p online poker for money
– This federally unregulated activity takes place in the absence of any U.S.-established consumer protections, fair play standards and financial transparency.
– A recent study concluded that the legalization and regulation of online gambling would offer significant improvements to consumer welfare and protections related to key risk factors, including: gambling by minors; problem gambling; fraud by operators and players; money laundering by
operators and players; organized crime; violation of jurisdictional prohibitions.
The Poker Players Alliance believes that federal poker licensing legislation should treat Indian tribes fairly by allowing them to participate in a regulated poker market as licensors, operators, or ancillary service providers. PPA’s long-held position is that it supports as wide-open and competitive a market as possible, and it welcomes the entrance of any and all participants into it.
PPA believes that Federal poker legislation would not have negative competitive impacts on brick-and-mortar tribal gaming enterprises. Tribal gaming is overwhelmingly slots and table games. While some Indian casinos have poker rooms, it is a small part of their business. Poker players and slot players are very different people. Furthermore, Americans have been playing poker on the Internet for years — if there were any competitive effects, they would have already been felt, and moving Americans to an on-shore, regulated market would not add to them.
Poker legislation should not impact IGRA or existing Class III compacts. IGRA was designed to deal with the geographic proximity between states and tribal reservations. Geographic proximity is meaningless on the Internet. The prerogatives of state and tribal governments under IGRA should not be impacted by poker licensing legislation.
Extensive research conducted in recent years proves that online gaming does not increase the social risks and damage of problem gambling.
Moreover, comprehensive research that has investigated this issue has come to the conclusion that online gaming operators have more effective and sophisticated tools to prevent and combat problem gambling compared to the measures that are available in the offline gambling world. Such measures have been adopted in jurisdictions around the world that specifically regulate online gaming and have proved themselves to be highly efficient.
Title: The Wire Act does not apply to online poker
The Wire Act provides that it is unlawful for a person to “knowingly use a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest…
Title: Conservative Opposition to the Reintroduction of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (H.R. 707)
“Conservatives don’t have to agree on the value of gambling, but we should agree that it is unwise to use the brute force of the federal government to try to stop states from making their own decisions on this activity, especially if the reason for this action is to support gambling entrepreneurs in Las Vegas. Unfortunately for them, what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas; it should be up to the states to determine if they want to reject or accept Vegas.”
Title: Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Legislation 1999-2006 Issues of States’ Rights
Between 1999 and 2006, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives considered several bills aimed at stopping offshore Internet gambling. Some of these bills amended the Wire Act (18 U.S.C. § 1084) and created enforcement mechanisms against offshore operators; these were introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).
Title: Internet Poker Prohibition is Bad Public Policy
Prohibition will not keep kids safe: only through regulation can we ensure that state of the art age verification software is in place to identify and restrict access for minors. These safeguards would not exist under a prohibition.
Title: Why Americans Should Oppose Internet Poker Prohibition
In 2002, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the DOJ’s expansive interpretation of the Wire Act was incorrect. The Wire Act of 1961 was written to prevent interstate sports betting by telephone, with an eye on combatting organized crime. It was clearly not intended to prevent all forms of gaming on the Internet, including even state-authorized intrastate poker. In 2013, following requests for review by two states, the DOJ rewrote the policy to meet the actual language of the legislation.
In 2002, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) expansive interpretation of the Wire Act was incorrect. The Wire Act of 1961 was written to prevent interstate sports betting by telephone, with an eye on combatting organized crime. It was clearly not intended to prevent all forms of gaming on the Internet, including state-authorized intrastate poker. In 2011, after two affected states challenged the DOJ’s interpretation of the law suggesting executive branch overreach, the DOJ rewrote the policy to meet the actual language of the legislation.
Internet Poker is a fast-growing, global industry
- The U.S. represents the largest percentage of Internet poker players worldwide, and
California is estimated to have more than one million online players.
Title: Talking Points for HB305/SB428, the Maryland Home Games Protection Bill
Home games are an American tradition.
- Whether the game is poker, mahjong, bridge, chess or even Monopoly, nearly all Americans have learned to play such games with relatives and friends in the privacy of their own home.
- The traditional game of poker stretches back to the Civil War and players over the years have included generals and privates, presidents and congressmen, CEOs and janitors, and nearly everyone in between.
- The vast majority of these games, just to make them interesting, have included a small wager.
The Economist recently noted that “innovative thinking is needed in the City by the Sea” if Atlantic City wishes to become once again the gaming capital of the Northeast. This innovative thinking will need to comprise of several components, sports betting being one of them. However, the key component which can make Atlantic City the World capital of gaming is the introduction of a regulatory licensing regime for online gaming which will take Atlantic City into the 21st Century.
Internet Poker is a fast-growing, global industry
– The U.S. represents the largest percentage of Internet poker players worldwide.
– As worldwide popularity of online poker continues to grow, more countries are seeking
to regulate it.
– Within the U.S., states are quickly seeking to benefit from a regulated online gambling
industry. Nevada and Delaware have already passed legislation and more states are
recognizing the benefits and proposing their own intrastate laws including, California,
Florida and Iowa.
Title: An Evaluation of the Effects of Online Poker on State Lotteries – FairPlay USA
Internet poker and lottery games are fundamentally different products. Playing lotteries and playing poker are fundamentally different consumer activities.
The available evidence suggests that the growth of Internet poker prior to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 did not adversely impact State lotteries or reduce State lottery revenues.
Title: What does “intra-state” Poker Mean for You as a Poker Player
What does “intra-state” poker mean? Today, when you play online poker you compete with other individuals from across the United States and the world. Essentially you are part of a multi-million person global network of poker players. Under the “intra-state” model being pushed in states across the country, your play would be limited to only residents within the state you live. Ultimately, this means fewer players, fewer games, fewer stakes/limits and less opportunity for you to play poker how you want, when you want.