PPA Calls New US Internet Gambling Prohibition Bill “Crony Capitalism”

On Wednesday, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT, pictured) reintroduced legislation to ban internet gambling in the United States, presumably at the behest of Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson. A press conference was held at 11:00am Eastern Time for Chaffetz to trumpet his latest attack on our industry.

Reacting to the press conference was the
Poker Players Alliance, whose Executive Director, John Pappas, commented, “Every Congress to consider internet gaming legislation has preserved the right of states to protect its citizens through a system that is accountable to regulators and the government. Attempting to re-write history through a piece of legislation that prohibits states from enacting these safeguards represents the worst kind of crony capitalism that favors a mega political campaign donor over what’s in the best interest of the states and their consumers.”

The “mega political campaign donor” is Adelson, whose casinos include the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas and Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania. Adelson’s team already hijacked a confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynchin order to bring up the evils of internet gambling. Adelson (pictured below) also met with House Judiciary Committee members to jump-start his anti-internet gambling crusade.

You’ve probably heard the standard critiques of internet gambling: underage gambling, problem gambling, and terrorism. According to Pappas, those arguments are dubious at best: “To date, there has not been a single documented case of a minor playing on any of these state-regulated sites… Claims that regulated internet gaming is a conduit for money laundering and terrorist financing are completely false and have no backing in the real world. At best, these claims are fear-mongering; at worst, they are outright deception.”

Regulated i-gaming exists in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. Although revenues have fallen short of expectations, these three states boast a regulated, safe environment for players to compete.

“As the states are proving they can effectively regulate internet poker and contribute to the economy by doing so, one might question the motives behind stopping such success,” Pappas closed by saying. “Americans are going to continue playing poker online, and with absolutely no consumer protections under a prohibition. If Congress is serious about protecting consumers, prohibiting states from implementing a sound regulatory framework is certainly not the answer.”

According to the PPA, Chaffetz’s bill would eliminate the regulated gaming markets in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware.

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17 COMMENTS

    • Getting sick of this BS. It infuriates me every time I read about Aldenson’s intentions. And Congress isn’t any better for listening to his BS either.

    • Getting sick of this BS. It infuriates me every time I read about Aldenson’s intentions. And Congress isn’t any better for listening to his BS either.

      Get used to it. As long as people continue to gamble in his casinos, he’ll continue to spend money fighting i-gaming expansion. He’s not going away anytime soon.

    • This guy is a moron. The only way I could afford a trip to the Venetian would be to take down a big tourney online. put 10k plus in the kitty and then book a trip to sit at this A Hole’s poker room with a couple of grand. Online poker is the only way for the little guy to get to the big stakes.Free country my ass.What happened to America?

    • How soon might this go down?

      Remains to be seen. The general belief is that nothing will happen with it, but there were discussions at the end of 2014 about passing this bill’s predecessor at the last minute by attaching it to must-pass legislation.

    • There must be something really messed up when and old man is so greedy that he spends his golden years pursuing a dream so intently that others around him want to see him die.

    • THIS JUST IN: A mob of angry hookers have rallied together to ban online porn. They say it is predatory and dangerous. Senator Dumb Fuck from UT stands by these street hookers and agrees that online porn is dangerous and preys on the weak. Senator Dumb Fuck declined to comment about the contradiction of aligning with hookers to fight porn. Senator Dumb Fuck is expected to introduce a separate bill next month banning online communication. His argument is that typing and talking on the internet is dangerous and could facilitate terrorism. He believes all interaction should be in writing or over the phone, ya know, to keep things safe.

    • So short sighted. Online gaming (especially poker) actually drives B&M traffic. All you have to do is look at the attendance of the WSOP from the inception of online poker to the UIGEA and Wire Act. There is a direct correlation to online play.

    • So short sighted. Online gaming (especially poker) actually drives B&M traffic. All you have to do is look at the attendance of the WSOP from the inception of online poker to the UIGEA and Wire Act. There is a direct correlation to online play.

      for some reason this obvious fact is not clicking

    • Get used to it. As long as people continue to gamble in his casinos, he’ll continue to spend money fighting i-gaming expansion. He’s not going away anytime soon.

      This is true, and what kills me is his abject failure as a businessman to capitalize on the trend. He’d rather just use congress to murder competition instead of growing and changing. I mean, without online poker how many people do you think show up at the WSOP in 2004? It sparked the brick and mortar poker boom, tournament AND cash game, and a businessman with an ounce of creativity should be able to make a buck on it.

      But instead he basically obfuscates his real argument which is diametrically opposed to everything capitalism is about (I don’t like competition) with bogus or at worst fly-speck issues of addiction, minor play and the bogeyman of terrorists somehow laundering money through online play.

      Our system is broken, as big business has been running it for quite some time now. We don’t even get to see candidates until they’ve been bought and paid for, so it doesn’t much matter who we vote for, we’re really voting for the companies that own them. So please don’t pick Sheldon Adelson’s pets. It’s not much of a choice, it’s not how democracy was ever intended to be, but it’s the best we can do.

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