The Evolution of “Click a Mouse …”

by , Feb 7, 2012 | 10:15 pm

Quick LOL … something I stumbled across while reading what I presumed was just a ho-hum news article about another state gearing up for online gambling (via the PPA’s latest newsletter). I wanted to see what state was next and whether or not they separated out poker. Turns out it was just California, talking about how much money they stand to make if they can just catch up with Nevada. For sure. Righteous, dudes.

But what stands out most to me is a line from one of the opponents of any measures for California to finally get serious about regulating online games within their own borders:

“We don’t want to see any of it,” said pastor James Butler from the California Coalition Against Gambling Expansion. “Pretty soon they’ll have an app that will allow you to connect instantly to a casino or a gambling site. Want to lose your home? We have an app for that,” Butler said.

Emphasis added. Not sure if we should tell the fine pastor that they already do have such an app — all over the UK to be sure, and in Nevada you can bet sports for real money anywhere you want using your Droid or iPhone with Leroy’s App. (It just turns off when you get to the California border — amazing that crazy technology these days!)

OK, I shouldn’t mock … because we all remember the saying from the days leading up to the UIGEA: “click a mouse, lose your house.” That language stuck in the anti-gambling forces rhetoric for years, pretty much until Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) tried to take it to a new level by claiming 1/3 of all college students who tried online gambling attempted suicide. That, of course, didn’t stick … and since then pro-online gambling forces have made tremendous inroads, with a message that has been quite refined since online poker’s post UIGEA starting point, which pretty much was: WTF?

But don’t expect the opposition to remain stagnant. The closer we get, the more you can expect them to up their game, if not simply because mainstream media often call various sources to get more than one side of a story … and because election years generally tend to be good fundraising periods for people in the morality business.

You can tell Mr. Butler is currently workshopping the opposing message:

“Is there going to be a guarantee that anyone in California who receives social assistance will be banned from those sites? Or will basically the California citizens be subsidizing somebody else’s gambling behavior?” said Butler.

Fascinating point, actually. We are talking more than 2 million people in California, mind you, receiving some sort of government aid. So should we strengthen online gambling bans (against all) to make sure those on the public dole can only play games meeting standards of appropriate bankroll management?

PokerStars did not comment on plans for what could’ve been had the US government allowed them to make food stamps redeemable for T$ and/or VIP swag.

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