POKER

Anti-Gambling Blowhard speaks on US online poker plans

TAGs: Les Bernal, Stop Predatory Gambling

Online poker plans attacked by groupNew regulations are bringing the anti-gambling zealots out of the wordwork after the executive director of an anti-predatory gambling group has poured scorn on the plans for the legislation to allow online poker in the USA.

In an interview with the BBC, Les Bernal, executive director of Stop Predatory Gambling, called the gambling industry “the most predatory industry in America,” and said that regulation would be a bad idea.

Bernal told the BBC, “It’s not like average citizens are calling up the government saying ‘we want more places to lose money’.

“Government, in partnership with the million dollar gambling business, is actively encouraging people to lose money.

“Instead of putting casinos on Main Street, you are essentially putting one into every home office and dorm room in America, 24 hours a day.”

To say that Bernal’s views are extreme would be an understatement but it again illustrates the strength of feeling amongst the opponents of the online gambling industry in North America.

We’ve reported before about the media’s propensity to take the myths fed to them by certain groups over the truth and this again seems like it could be the case.

Elsewhere in the same article, Kevin Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), doesn’t agree with the distinction that many draw between poker and other forms of gambling. He does, however, agree that if properly regulated online poker could help prevent problem gamblers getting in too deep.

The successful regime in the UK is pointed to as an example of how the right regulation can help problem gamblers out in relation to everything from links being posted to sites that can help to the specific spending limits that can be put in place.

Obviously there are going to be people who are against the online poker industry making inroads in the United States, and that’s fine – it just doesn’t help when they aren’t even considering any advantages that could come from it and purely criticizing every little thing they can find wrong with it.

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