Conservative Columnist Pens in Favor of Online Poker Bills

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way?

by , Aug 15, 2009 | 10:37 am

George Will and I rarely see eye to eye on anything (understatement), which is why I would never have seen this column had @TheEngineer2008 pointed it out on Twitter. But in his latest Washington Post column, Will stumps for the passage of pro-online poker legislation after what seems like a conversation with Howard Lederer.

The piece opines about the criminalization of online gambling, which imposes on personal freedoms. Keeping the government out of private homes used to be something that the conservative movement traditionally viewed as an important and core issue, and Will stays true to that belief with his recent article.

It is a poker skill to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. Congress probably should fold its interference with Internet gambling and certainly should get its 10 thumbs off Americans’ freedom to exercise their poker skills online.

Interesting, however, that he misses a key point when describing the threefold interest of Lederer in the issue…

First, his libertarian temperament — he lives in Las Vegas, where almost anything goes — is offended by mother-hen government. Second, he wants as many people as possible to have access to poker’s delights. Third, the more poker players there are, the larger will be the ranks of competitors, and the television audiences, for professional poker competitions. Hence the larger will be the potential winnings.

Full Tilt Poker, the cash cow of Lederer and others, stands to be one of the first sites to receive a license and legally cater to U.S. customers should the legislation pass. That doesn’t in any way discount his other reasons for pushing for the bills, but disclosing his part in FTP might be pertinent.

5 Comments to “Conservative Columnist Pens in Favor of Online Poker Bills”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    Chances that George Will knows Howard and Jesus have a major role in FTP?

  2. California Jen

    I suppose that’s possible. I just think it’s a little irresponsible not to disclose that information, though it is an op-ed piece.

  3. DanM

    *** Full Tilt Poker, the cash cow of Lederer and others, stands to be one of the first sites to receive a license and legally cater to U.S. customers should the legislation pass. ***

    Actually, I’m not completely sure this is true. Depends how any new legislation is worded. Even though Lederer and his Full Tilt cronies are fighting harder than just about anyone to pass the legislation, it’s at least plausible that Full Tilt and PokerStars and UB et al might not be welcomed into a fully legal online poker US, having “thumbed their nose” at the UIGEA, unlike PartyPoker, for example, whose top dogs have ponied up hundreds of millions in their attempt to stay totally square.

    Jen, you probably noticed in Washington DC … there wasn’t a Full Tilt patch in site. And you saw them give away the Stars swag at that first dinner rally. Can’t think of too many Full Tilt events where Lederer et al would let that fly. But when talking politics, the Full Tilt guys are there as PPA Board members, not as Full Tilt owners.

  4. California Jen

    You’re right. It is plausible that FTP and PS might not be the most welcome when licenses are handed out, but I have top secret info that makes me think otherwise.

    I didn’t think about FTP being virtually invisible in D.C.; I suppose they’re trying to stay under the radar…for once. Very strange.

  5. DanM

    yes, they poo-pooed my idea of slapping Full Tilt patches on congresspeople’s backs (like a “kick me” sign) and then taking pictures of them to show other congresspeople their colleagues were supporting all the poker bills.

    c’mon, outside the box, people!