Posts Tagged ‘John Stemberger’

Poker in the Political Maelstrom

by , Nov 29, 2009 | 9:28 pm

Interesting story in the Miami Herald about Joe Cada, Kevin Schaffel (Florida’s representative in the November Nine), skill vs. luck, and whether or not the game is good for you. My favorite line(s):

“We had 115 different countries have players represented this year,” said Seth Palansky, a World Series spokesman. “It’s just an astonishing amount — more than the Olympics.”

To be fair, that’s only more than the Winter Olympics. Poker still has a bit more work to catch the Summer games.

Ha ha. Burn on Palansky.

The story continues:

Not everyone is happy with the poker boom. Gambling critics like the Florida Family Policy Council say the game’s greater social acceptance is largely a result of aggressive PR efforts.

“It’s being promoted as something that’s sexy and adventurous and cool,” said council President John Stemberger. “All the big money is on the side of promoting it, not on the side of educating people as to why it’s not a smart thing.”

True enough, Mr. Stemberger, but the same thing could be said about religion, right? You think our activity can be harmful — and indeed it can — and I think your activity can be harmful … and indeed it can. But that’s where living in the wonderful US of A comes into play … As an American (and Floridians are Americans, even the ones who are Cuban) I have the personal freedom to pursue my happiness, just as you do … even though I can show you example after example of people pursuing the activities Big God money is pushing doing tremendous harm … usually with a lot more blood and death, in fact.

Trust me, when it comes to potentially addictive products, poker is much closer to Starbuck’s than Marlboro … even though financial advisors have shown time and time again how quitting a $5 a day Starbuck’s habit can equal millions of extra retirement dollars in the course of life.

Meanwhile, here’s another Herald story about Florida’s longtime wagering culture as the state considers it’s biggest expansion of gambling in history.