Friday September 7. 2012 : NO CLAUSE IS GOOD CLAUSE
The marked absence of anti-online poker sentiment in the Democratic Party's platform seen as encouraging
The US Democratic Party's manifesto released this week is in marked contrast to the Republican Party platform released recently, which specifically recorded the party's hard-line opposition to online gambling; the Dems appear to have simply ignored the issue.
The Las Vegas Review Journal carried a well-balanced article on the omission this week, canvasing the opinions of key players in the legalization debate and setting their views against the background of recent industry events.
Poker Players Alliance executive director John Pappas saw the lack of specific policy on internet gambling in the DP document as a hopeful sign, and noted that many members of the party supported the concept of legalised online poker
Approached by the LVRJ, senior Nevada Democrats like Dean Heller and Shelley Berkeley felt that a federal solution to the online poker issues was preferable to a state-by-state patchwork of regulatory regimes. Berkeley noted her long-standing support for legalization and its potential for creating jobs in the US, and said:
"I will continue to lead efforts and work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle toward a solution that would allow legalized Internet gaming across the country."
A spokesman for senior Democrat politician Senator Harry Reid said that the Senator "…believes legalizing online poker remains important for Nevada and he will continue to work on this issue."
The Democrats were echoing the sentiments expressed last week by Nevada's Republican governor, Brian Sandoval who despite his party's manifesto clause against internet gambling said that he didn't agree with the policy, and that it would not deter the state from continuing to pursue it’s safe and secure online poker legalization initiative by the end of this year.
He was supported by Nevada Gaming Control Board chairman Mark Lipparelli, who said that lawmakers were uninformed; online gambling was a multi-billion dollar industry and banning it was a poor strategy that ignored reality.
The American Gaming Association, where the official policy supports federal rather than state legalization of online poker, refused to comment, as it did on the Republican platform last week.
Speaking anonymously, a Democratic Party source told the Journal that Republican support for the much discussed and reported Reid-Kyl legalization attempt was weak.
The San Francisco Chronicle also discussed the issue this week, basing much of its article on the recent decision by federal district Judge Jack Weinstein that poker was a game where skill played a significant part.
The newspaper reported that industry hopes for legalization of online poker in the United States were high in the wake of this and the Department of Justice policy adjustment last December, which declared that only sports betting was covered by the Wire Act.
Noted online gambling legal expert Prof. I. Nelson Rose said the Weinstein decision "…undercuts the most important remaining federal statute that could be applied to Internet poker, now that the Department of Justice has limited the Wire Act to sports betting."