Next time the American Gaming Association (AGA) appears at a trade show, I suggest they provide some kind of giveaway.
Appropriate swag might be a yo-yo, a flapjack spatula, or perhaps a pair of flip-flops.
Given that the AGA has taken three different positions, each a contradiction, within just the past ten years on the big question of legalizing and regulating online gambling/poker in the United States, is there now a reason to take any of their policy statements seriously?
I pose this as a serious question. If a paramour initially pledges to be faithful, but then strays away when something better comes along, and then finally declares she’s in limbo about her true feelings, does such a relationship merit any trust or confidence? I think most of us would label her one of either two things — a manipulator or a flake.
So, which one applies to the AGA? Are they manipulative or just plain flaky?
Go back and read the poker forums sometime. The evidence is all there in black and white.
In 2006, popular sentiment at the time was the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act would never become a law. Then, after the UIGEA did indeed pass and become law, the prevailing thought within the poker community over the next five years was the federal government wouldn’t do much to shut down the most popular sites and actually prohibit Americans from logging online to play poker. Then, after Black Friday happened in 2011 an all the biggest poker sites operating within U.S. jurisdiction were shut down and hundreds of millions in player deposits were frozen, many of those same disengaged and apathetic voices are now saying the same thing.
Nothing to worry about, they insist. Nothing to see here, so move on. Just as before, the false presumption is — the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) has no shot of passage. After all, the federal bill which would outlaw online poker in all 50 states failed to muster enough support during the last session of congress. Our side won the last time around, so why won’t we repeat the same victory in 2015?
Two recent news stories highlight a serious cause for concern for the proponents of legalized online poker in the United States.
Both developments reiterate to the alarming prospect that right now we’re not only sizable underdogs to win federal support for legalization and regulation in the foreseeable future. We even may be in serious danger of losing the significant gains made since Black Friday devastated the American poker landscape back in 2011. All indications are the Sheldon Adelson-backed federal bill known as Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) could very well pass both houses of congress during the current session, be signed by the president, and might become the law of the land by year’s end. If that were to happen, it would be tantamount to a federal prohibition against poker and most forms of gambling online. In other words, permanent Black Friday would be the law in all fifty states.
The term “professional gambler” gets tossed around way too loosely.
Fact is, relatively few full-time professional gamblers exist, particularly when defined as someone who actually earns the vast majority of one’s personal income making bets. While there are indeed many pretenders masquerading around as professional gamblers, and even more part-time players with other means of financial support, year-to-year professional gamblers who survive long term are a rare breed.