Phil Hellmuth, other poker pros react to repeal of PASPA

TAGs: PASPA, Phil Hellmuth

Unless you’ve been on a deserted island this week, the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 shouldn’t come as a surprise. The reversal doesn’t specifically address where online poker stands, but many have already come out to say that legalized sports gambling will have the side benefit of expanding the Phil Hellmuth, other poker pros react to repeal of PASPApoker industry. The subject has made its way to Twitter, where several poker pros have begun to voice their opinion on the subject. Not surprisingly, one of the most vocal has been poker’s Poker Brat.

The day following the court’s decision, Phil Hellmuth tweeted, “Every Major sport (NBA, NFL, MLB) is behind the legalization of sports betting, and all of them will profit by it. But how can Sports Betting online be legalized w/out online poker being legalized (clearly more skill than sports betting)? The time is NOW to legalize online poker!”

As usual, there was a lot of colorful input following his remarks. Many agreed with his position; while others used the opportunity to chide him for his previous dealings with Ultimate Bet.

DJ MacKinnon also used the social media platform to provide his two cents, asking that each state consider online poker legislation. As is his manner, he wasn’t verbose and simply asked, “Can we attach poker to every new states sports betting bill, thanks.”

Twitch poker celebrity and PokerStars ambassador Jason Somerville wasn’t going to be left out. He tweeted, “great news to wake up to! we’ll see just how much this helps US online poker but the financial incentives for states to pass gaming legislation just got a whole lot more attractive. let’s go!”

Another opinion was offered up by Kevin Iacofano, a 2018 WSOP Circuit Main Event winner. He wants fans and players alike to push lawmakers into introducing legislation that would combine online poker with sports wagering. He stated, “If you are a poker player and you haven’t made a call or email to your representative, especially now your state representative, make your voice heard. Tag online poker along with the sports betting wave and this Black Friday to now nightmare will be over.”

The poker community will never truly get over Black Friday, and “what could have been” if poker had been allowed to continue. Regardless, we’re here now, with shared liquidity between New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada—Pennsylvania to follow—and more than 20 states set to offer sports gambling. If the predications hold true, online poker could see itself grabbing hold across the country before the end of the year.


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