While most US federal pro-gambling politicians are trying to pass legislation that would make online poker legal, Rep. Chris Gibson, (R-NY) is trying to pass a bill to make sure everyone understands that online horse betting is already legal. On Tuesday, Gibson introduced HR 2702, the Wire Clarification Act of 2011, which is designed to remind everyone that, unlike online poker, sportsbetting and casino gambling (all of which destroy families and make Baby Jesus cry), online horse wagering is what makes America great, and interfering with it in any way, shape or form would do more to harm this great country than Al Qaeda and Chinese debt collectors combined.
Gibson’s legislation is a resuscitated version of a bipartisan bill introduced last summer by Scott Murphy, the Democrat Gibson defeated in the Nov. 2010 election. (Apparently, Gibson wasn’t opposed to all of Murphy’s policies.) As Gibson put it, “to sustain [his congressional district’s] much-needed tourism revenue and to protect thousands of jobs, we must ensure that horse wagering remains legal — as intended by federal law.” For the record, no one on Capitol Hill is actually talking about making horse wagering illegal, but credit card companies got skittish once the DoJ started enforcing the UIGEA regs, so they stopped processing all online gambling transactions. As a result, a whole new piece of legislation has to be created to undo what the UIGEA done did.
In other horse betting news, the organizers of the Breeders’ Cup have thrown their industry for a bit of a loop by hiring poker pro Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi to promote wagering on their event. In announcing the deal, Breeders’ Cup VP of Media and Entertainment Peter Rotondo spoke of “a strong crossover between poker and horse racing, which has not yet been realized”. Um, okay. (We’re suddenly reminded of that Simpsons‘ parody product “Nuts & Gum: Together At Last!”, but we digress.) Rotondo hopes that the 2010 World Series of Poker Player of the Year will help his organization “reach out to the poker world and educate them about the Breeders’ Cup and the over $160m in liquidity during our two-day event.” Okay, lots of liquidity… So far, so good. But how do you tell which horse are the fish?