My wife believes I should be a politician. I can’t see it. Take the problem that the not so United States of America are having with the implementation of an online poker bill. During a recent interview with Marco Valerio at OnlinePokerReport, California politician Mike Gatto expressed his guess that since 2008 between two and six online poker bills have been submitted to the wizards who hide behind the curtain, and none of them have passed. I couldn’t accept that. I couldn’t work in an environment that reeks of that. I just don’t get that.
Creating an online poker bill is nothing new. If the U.S. politicians could pull their heads out of their asses for long enough, they will notice a whole world beyond their borders that manages to operate regulated online poker without undue fuss. The religious groups don’t seem to be hitting anybody over the head with their crosses, the parents aren’t complaining that their under age children are stealing all of their money, and the organizations designed to care for gambling addicts like me also seem to be fairly happy about the management of online poker.
Take the U.K as a prime example. I wouldn’t say that I am clued in to every single conversation that goes on about the difficulty and ease of a regulated online poker market, but my ear is pretty close to the ground. I think I would hear the disconcerted rumblings of anarchy. There is no noise. I can’t hear a bloody thing. Not one single complaint.
Why does it have to be so complicated? The speed at which these things move, and the time and effort that is ploughed into the creations of these bills – not to mention the millions of dollars that pass back and fore between hands – is incredible. I mean, talk about hypocrisy. American politicians worrying about the financial corruption that online poker could create, when those same people are probably taking a few backhanders themselves? Don’t make me laugh.
Mike Gatto told Valerio that he has a meeting set up with the Amaya Coalition, and that his bill is nothing but a starting point for discussion. I doubt the Coalition saw it like that. Waving a bill containing a ‘Keep PokerStars Out’ clause into the faces of PokerStars is like waving a pair of Annie Duke’s knickers in Daniel Negreanu’s face. There is a certain stench that is going to be unpalatable to those sniffing, but perhaps more favorable to those standing on the outside.
If I was a politician and it was my job to create an online poker bill, I take it as read that my research would uncover the fact that PokerStars are the largest online poker room in the world. It’s the place where everyone goes to play, and even those rankled by the recent decision from Stars to go from superior customer service to bargain basement customer service would hold their hands up and say PokerStars is the absolute bollocks when it comes to playing online poker.
Why create a bill as a point of discussion that pisses off the largest online poker entity in the world, and then invite them for discussion after the bill has been written and read? Isn’t the sensibility of including them in the loop at the earliest possibility the sanest thing to do? Do they need to be punished for hanging around in a market the lawmakers didn’t want them pilfering from – perhaps. But that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be included in discussions from the very beginning.
Since when were politicians the right people to create legislation for online poker? Doesn’t the sheer fact that so many attempts have ended up as nothing more but nests for pet rabbits to huddle amidst tell you something? The bills don’t pass because they are crap. They don’t serve a purpose. They need to include the views of everyone, and that includes the only poker room that the world wishes to play on.
At least I rant like a politician.
My wife got that right.
On the plus side, The Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2015 (AB 9) is alive and well. Amaya and the Coalition are going to be invited to have their say, and according to the Gatto/Valerio interview, as does everyone else who wants to get involved.
I might get hold of Gatto myself because there is one real problem that is bothering me about the lack of a bill in the U.S.A. If God had such a problem with gambling, then don’t you think he would have written about it in his divine rule book: The 10 Commandments? I have just cast my beady eyes over those rules and cannot find any reference to “Thou Shall Not Gamble.” A set of rules that God felt so strongly about that he included the rule, “Thou Shall Not Covet Your Neighbors Ox, Nor His Donkey.”
There you have it. According to God, you can gamble as much as you like. Just don’t do it whilst eyeing up your neighbors Ox or Donkey.