Friday, October 13, 2006

Congresscritters, Part II

Dear Congresscritters and Senators:

I am a voter, I am a poker player and I believe it's high time Congress get with the program.

Under your watch, Congress passed legislation that prohibits me from playing the great game of poker on the Internet. Legislation that impacts millions online poker players in the United States like me deserves more debate than a back-room deal. You have an opportunity to correct this injustice.

Poker is a great American game with deep roots in this country. Throughout history presidents, generals, Members of Congress, Supreme Court justices and average citizens have enjoyed poker with family and friends. Poker is what I like to do for entertainment, just like a round of golf or going to a movie.

Unlike other forms of gambling, poker is not a game of chance. It is a game where performance is merited and a community game where the "house" is not your competition. These are real and significant differences. Simply putting the word "Internet" in front of poker does not change the qualities of the game and it should not make the people who play it suspect.

Despite this point-of-view, because it involves wagering, poker, by definition poker is a form of gambling.

I am urging you to support amending this new Internet gambling law. First, I would like to urge you to provide an exemption for poker. Please note, that other forms of Internet gambling, such as horseracing, lotteries and fantasy sports are already protected under this law. An exemption for poker is not unreasonable, it is good public policy and would help preserve and protect an American tradition.

Second, the United States has been a leader in many ways throughout the world. Under the Commerce Clause, the federal government has the right to regulate interstate and International Internet gambling. If Internet gambling were legalized, the federal government and all federal citizens would directly benefit by the security provided by federal regulations. Such regulations could be modeled after those provided by state venues, such as Nevada, to ensure that gaming is fair. Revenue collected from game providers would provide the economic support necessary for the government to provide its regulatory functions. Taxes collected from profitable gaming houses would contribute to the well-being of all federal citizens by reducing the deficit and perhaps providing additional funds for other purposes beneficial to all federal citizens.

This industry is large, growing, and presently is overseas, despite the technological origins created in the United States.

I look forward to your support for a poker exemption.

Again, I am a voter, I am a poker player and I remember.

Very respectfully,