Friday, May 26, 2006

Write Your Congressman

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee passed review of H.R. Bill 4777 (legislation banning online poker) by a vote of 25 to 11. At this point the bill is forwarded to the House of Representatives for discussion and vote.

It's time to get involved. I watched a webcast of the proceedings. As you would expect there is mention of how a bill similar to this was shot down previously by the lobbying efforts of Jack Abramhoff and it appeared to me that this bill has been introduced by Rep Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) as some form of political retribution.

During the discussions there is talk of money laundering, organized crime and even the suggestion that online gambling is funding terrorist activities. There is talk of wanting to protect the State's Attorney Generals as they are the ones that should be deciding who gets the biggest share of the gambling pie and not unregulated offshore corporations.

One of the biggest arguments presented is that of "protecting children from being taken advantage of by any form of online predator". There was continued debate in regard to gambling in the form of horse and dog racing tracks. So much so, that at one point a vote to an amendment to the bill was called for with a yes vote to be indicated by saying "woof". Apparently the bill allows betting on horse racing over the internet but not on dog racing. One observation of mention is that throughout the entire 1 hour 21 minute discussion the word poker was only uttered one time.

Here is what the bills sponsor Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) had to say about gambling:

"I oppose gambling. I think it causes many problems in our society. Family problems. Problems with bankruptcy. Problems with minors gambling, Problems with gambling addiction, Problems with organized crime. Problems with money laundering. Even the possibility of terrorist organizations using these off shore sites, which in many cases are receiving almost no oversight, using them to raise money for terriost organizations and other criminal activities".

I'm sure these are the arguments you will see brought before the House of Representitives. Please take a few minutes and write you House Representative and let him know that you are against HR 4777 the proposed legislation that would stop us all from playing poker online.

Let them know that Party Poker is not run from some cave in Afghanistan. That the friends you play poker with online are not degenerate gamblers looking to take advantage of minors by stealing there lunch money.(how does a 12 year old get a credit card anyway.) Let them know that poker is a game of skill, where the outcome is not a totally random event that players have no control over, as in other forms of gambling. Let them know that the people they represent want online poker to be regulated and taxed, Its a 12 billion dollar industry that could be utilized for the good of the nation and that you and I don't want to see it banned.

I found a link today that provides a way to send a e-mail to your Congressman by filling out a online form. Like anything Government related it is a pain in the ass. It requires that you enter your 4 digit zip code extension. Not your zip code but the extension. The site does at least give you a means to find this 4 digit number that is the golden key to writing your Congressman online. Again I urge you to take a few minutes and write your Congressman, I did.

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1 comment:

Squirelmaster said...

I realy feel for the gamblers in the US. I cant beleive your Congress banned all banks and credit card companies from accepting transactions from online gambling sites which makes you unable to play online poker. What a bunch of hypocrites your state government are. They have the largest gambling operations with lotto, keno, etc. If they truly believed their rhetoric about internet gambling they would cut out the state operations also. And now they are bringing in a law to legalise slot machines. Personally I would have a big grudge against any party that stopped me from playing on a online poker site. I think there must be some way for you guys to get around this problem. Must make you wonder if you are living in the land of the free when it seems the government has full control on what it will and wont let you do.