A website set up by incoming US President Barack Obama's team to garner suggestions from US voters on priority items that deserve presidential attention has proved to be a useful vehicle for promoting legalised poker in the United States.
A poster using the nickname AAHue started the ball rolling on the "Citizen's Briefing Book" with a suggestion that the incoming administration “let online poker players in the United States play legally and without fear of prosecution.” The popularity of this idea was underlined in short order, with 10 000 other posters voting for it, pushing the topic to the second-to-top priority position on the website. This positioniing is no mean feat, with 5 000 other ideas floated on the facility.
Only “Bullet Trains and Light Rail” attracted more support.
AAHue's suggestion read in full:
"Boost America's Economy with Legal Online Poker
"Let online poker players in the United States play legally and without fear of prosecution. Reform the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act to exempt poker, a game of skill, from the law. Boost the economy by letting American companies and American players make money and pay taxes instead of sending online poker businesses offshore. Protect online poker players by regulating the industry to ensure that no one is ever cheated."
In addition to the voters, over 700 other posters took the time to comment over some 15 pages – mostly in support – on the proposal, and interest continued to be expressed by both votes and remarks as InfoPowa went to press.
The website, accessible here http://citizensbriefingbook.change.gov/ideas/viewIdea.apexp?id=087800000004m5M, represents an influential channel for Americans to make their thoughts on the UIGEA and legalised poker known to a new US administration that is perhaps more receptive to the wishes of the electorate and enlightened than its predecessors.