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AGA Considers Online Poker Film "Runner Runner" as Catalyst for Legislation

Justin Timberlake is well known for “bringing sexy back” and may now be called upon to bring online poker back to the United States.

The American Gaming Association has a plan to use the film “Runner Runner” to promote the need for federal online poker legislation in the U.S. An email sent by AGA CEO and president Geoff Freeman to his colleagues on the AGA board that was obtained and published by Jon Ralston of Ralston Reports cites an opportunity to use the film as a springboard and catalyst to “raise awareness” about the dangers of unregulated online poker.

The movie starring Timberlake and Ben Affleck is scheduled to hit theatres October 4. Runner Runner was penned by the same writers who brought “Rounders” to the silver screen. That 1998 poker movie classic starred Matt Damon, Edward Norton, and John Malkovich and was watched with great interest by poker players of every level.

Runner Runner’s plot revolves around “illegal online poker and unscrupulous offshore operators” and, according to Freeman, “the risk American consumers face in a poorly-regulated market.” The timing of the movie’s debut is quite good considering that just last month a Senate subcommittee took a serious look at the the need for consumer protections in online gambling.

Freeman’s idea is to use the Twentieth Century Fox film to release statistical data related to the amount of unlawful online gambling currently underway in the U.S., urging moviegoers to click on over to the AGA website and learn more about the risks associated with unregulated Internet gambling, and perhaps showing the film to specific audiences in order to discuss the need for regulation.

The missive sent by Freeman asks other AGA board members to share their thoughts on the use of Runner Runner in order to promote the AGA’s efforts for federal online poker legislation. Those efforts currently favor allowing only Internet poker and not a broad expanse of online casino games.


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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.