Online Gambling Movement Could Stall If Romney Elected
Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has taken a stance recently that potentially could alienate millions of US voters come November. Romney has come out against online gambling regulations, a stance that has not sat well with the online poker players who have been yearning for regulations in recent months.
"I can't vote for a guy that is going to keep me from making a living," said Paul Graham, an online poker professional who is relocating to Nevada. "I already had my livelihood taken away last year, and that's why I'm moving to Nevada, so I can play poker online. If Romney wants to keep me from working, that's not someone I want to support to run my country."
Graham has many US residents who have taken a similar approach to their voting habits, but there are also those who are in favor of continuing Internet gambling prohibition.
"This online gambling thing has gone to far," said Beverly Simpson, an Ohio resident. "We (Ohioans) just passed a law to allow casinos in Ohio, and now they want to take it a step further. I don't want my kids growing up in a world of gambling and deceit."
Romney made his remarks before the Nevada caucuses regarding his stance on Internet gambling. Nevada is a state that has already passed online poker regulation laws, and state lawmakers are now just waiting on the federal government to regulate the industry. Nevada has already started accepting applications for online gaming licenses.
The online poker issue is one that will surely come to the forefront in the debates leading up to the election in November. President Barack Obama is a poker player himself, although he has not went public with his stance on Internet gaming as of yet. The Obama Administraition has sent mixed signals when dealing with the issue.
Last year, the Department of Justice inssued indictements against Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and PokerStars. The indictments essentially pushed foreign online poker sites out of the US, causing thousands of professional players to be left without an outlet to work.
In December last year, the DoJ went the other way on the issue, issuing an opinion that opened the door for future online gambling regulations. The DoJ opinion basically overturned a long-standing belief that all online gambling activities were illegal under the Wire Act. Instead, the government now only considers sports betting to be illegal under the 1961 law.
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