The general consensus in the United States seems to be that there will be no concerted push for regulated online poker at the federal level until the lame duck session of Congress following November’s elections. But that hasn’t stopped some of the players on either side of the debate from keeping up the pressure. Wednesday saw the public release of a letter from Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to the leaders of the Senate (Harry Reid) and the House of Representatives (John Boehner) urging them to take no further steps towards the legalization of online gambling.
Interestingly, while Utah is one of only two US states that permits no gambling whatsoever, Herbert’s letter is not a jeremiad about the evils of gambling. Instead, Herbert states that it is “a matter of both constitutional and social preference that matters relating to gaming be regulated by states for the benefit of their residents.” Herbert even cites the Department of Justice’s pre-Christmas about-face on the Wire Act’s scope as justification for this stance. Herbert warns that passing federal laws re online gambling would “encroach on our 10th Amendment rights.”
On the other side of the coin, the Poker Players Alliance is using the upcoming anniversary of Black Friday to launch a new awareness campaign. The Players Will Never Fold campaign is a ‘remember the Alamo’ call to arms that provides players with easy links to contact their local federal representatives and demand action on Rep. Joe Barton’s stalled HR 2366 poker legislation. The PPA is also encouraging players to contribute to a ‘Black Friday Money Bomb’ campaign fund. Too bad the video’s background music sounds so much like the patriotic muzak in those cloying commercials for commemorative 9/11 coins. You know, the kind where you spend good money for something that doesn’t really have any value?