Spreading the Poker Word

by , Nov 13, 2009 | 7:12 am

Good op-ed piece by Rich Muny (@TheEngineer2008) that lays out the current poker argument on our issue. Nothing you haven’t heard before, but Muny’s not preaching to the typical choir … he’s addressing conservative small-governmenters and in addition to laying out some legislative history, explains why (spoiler alert:) regulating online poker and gambling ≠ wild, rights-infringing government expansion.

The GOP’s Bad Bet Against Online Poker

You know, I’m obviously not running the poker-political show, though I do try to follow it. And I’m starting to think it’s time to amp-up the aggression on a grass-roots level. Drew Lesofski, the PPA’s director of grassroots and external affairs may not be as visible as the typical spokespeople (Pappas, Frank, D’Amato, Raymer) but he’s effectively rallied the troops — on state and federal levels — and while I’m pretty sure the new tweetforpoker.com has a purpose … bottom line … and this is only me talking here, not the PPA … might it not be time crash a few tea parties?

The message:

Take our goddamn fuckin’ money! And take it now! We want our damn personal freedoms back, and yeah, we expect America to be a better place to engage in a recreational activity legal in 48 states than Malta. We want to pay you, and those who oppose this pursuit don’t have to pay squat. And even though we don’t expect these bogus societal problems to emerge … hey, guess what, if they do, we’ll pay to clean’em up. Cool?

Hey, have you met our new 21-year-old posterboy Joe Cada? Pretty good kid …

6 Comments to “Spreading the Poker Word”

  1. chrisC

    Do you think if it is amped up too much we could get some backlash? My only fear on the issue is that people still feel that poker is gambling i.e. blackjack, craps, ect. In my mind we seem to be pretty close to getting things through under the radar so to speak.

    On a side note I just got back from vegas and the poker is not as lively as it was when I last went. Online may be the only place to get a game someday. Well its not that bad but not what it was.

  2. DanM

    I dunno. I think that’s the thing … poker will always be seen as gambling, as much as we know it is different from the other games. So we have to pass something even with that as part of the deal.

    The judicial system is generally able to figure out the whole game of skill thing … but the legislative branch, even if they get that, don’t care, because they always want to include other gambling stuff with it as well.

    I’m watching this delay-process closely, because I’ve never seen this sorta matter run up the executive-branch flagpole before, so no clue how it will play out.

    But I do fear … what do they stand to gain politically by simply delaying? It seems to me that they have to eat all the political risk without a chance for any gain. Inverse freeroll probably not the way to go?

  3. TheEngineer


    I don’t see that as an issue. IMO, we’re not under anyone’s radar. Our opponents are doing all they can to stop us. Check out http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/152/fight-poker-rights-ppa/federal-online-poker-gaming-legislation-history-575712 for history. In the past, they thought they could do this with impunity. They need to know that many of us will stand up for our rights, and that there is a political cost associated with opposing our right to play.

    Additionally, the anti-gaming zealots have convinced conservative politicians that conservative are supposed to oppose our right to play. I think we need to make the case that this is not true.

    Finally, none of our progress has been made by sneaking under the radar. When we were quiet, we lost the UIGEA House vote 317-93 (it was free standing at that time, too). The progress we’re seeing now is a DIRECT result of poker players telling their Congressman that they demand their rights and of PPA’s lobbying.

    Thanks for reading my article.

    Rich Muny

  4. DanM

    yeah, i so agree with you about under the radar … that’s what you need to do for stuff without popular support (like the UIGEA) … not things where all the numbers are on your side. At least that’s what I seem to be learning.

    i think your toughest argument with a lot of conservatives now is convincing them that regulation isn’t necessarily the same as Big Government. I mean sure, it could grow into that, but those are fights for a later day, no?

  5. TheEngineer


    I’d be happy if they just left poker alone. US-based sites could offer games regulated within their states and would enjoy a competitive advantage over offshore sites.

  6. ChrisC

    I agree after looking into the issue more that we are not “under the radar”, but I still think that with the other issues like health care on the table this will not be “center stage” in the grande scheme of things.

    Dan I definitly agree with you about US based sites. We put most of the money in play and could get a big advantage in the online market.


    What can people like myself do to help the issue and get others involved?