Friday, April 22, 2011

letter to the editor

sending this to the boston papers tomorrow. hopefully one of them will run it:

On April 15th the Department of Justice indicted three providers of online poker. Ten million Americans play poker as a hobby. Some, including me, play professionally. We are now denied service. More importantly, this action is wasteful and reeks of hypocrisy. In this economy should our government really be focused on this? Regulation and taxation of online poker would make far more sense.

The DOJ’s actions are an enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, a bill passed in September 2006. Sponsored by Senators Frist and Kyl, the bill was attached to the unrelated port security bill and passed in clandestine fashion without serious debate in Congress.

While poker players are being denied the right to play, we have state lotteries and online horse betting. These games have no element of skill, yet they are legal because our government profits from them, and the horse-racing industry has greased the right palms. By contrast, poker is a game of skill in which players compete against each other, and skilled players win in the long run.

The sites being indicted have asked for years to be regulated and taxed. It's projected that online poker could generate $35 billion in tax revenue over 10 years. Regulations could safeguard against gambling addiction, underage play, and fraud. Given the current economic climate and budget deficits, it is logical to regulate online poker. Instead, we are wasting tax dollars and man-hours denying Americans a game we love.

As a professional poker player, this issue has a huge impact on me. Since 2008, I've help put my wife through medical school, paid off 80% of my student loans, established a retirement fund, and paid over $150,000 in taxes. My tax dollars are now being used to prosecute the same companies that provided me a way to earn that income.

Poker is a great American game, invented in our country. But now we can no longer play with the rest of the world online. Support legal online poker, and tell congress and the DOJ how you feel about their actions.



TJ Eckleburg12 said...

...sick taxes brag

haha j/k, that's very well written, I hope the papers run it as well

Jim Perry said...

lol thanks. I hope you're doing good. I read you were just getting into a poker groove since there hadn't been as many DJing gigs lately. Hopefully everythings working out.



stacksofgold said...

Good article