Pro player Andy Bloch uses skills from his Harvard days to put online poker’s case
Pro poker player Andy Bloch used skills learned during his education at Harvard Law School to put forward the case for legalised online poker at an Internet freedom seminar in Las Vegas this week.
Andy was representing the Poker Players Alliance at the Netroots Nation 2010 event, and addressed the discriminatory nature of US gambling law in banning online poker. The PPA, which boasts over a million members across America, sponsored the seminar.
Netroots is a pivotal event for those committed to progress, freedom of the Internet and open public policy debate.
In a pre-seminar statement issued by the PPA, Bloch said: “Americans enjoy the game of poker no matter their political stripes, and can watch games on countless television channels.
“We need to make sure that both politicians and activists are aware of the ridiculous attempts to prohibit online poker. They are forgoing billions in tax revenue when our budgets are most in need, rejecting the opportunity to properly regulate online poker, and ignoring their responsibility to protect children and other vulnerable members of our society.”
During the seminar Bloch detailed the discriminatory nature of US laws when it came to internet poker, and the current state of play in legislative terms, noting that gambling is legal in at least one form or another in 48 states, where governments raise significant revenues from gambling taxes.
Yet despite this, federal laws penalise online gambling through the UIGEA, a flawed financially oriented law passed in a late night session just before a Congressional recess, attached to the coat tails of a must-pass security bill, he said.
In his address, Bloch asked the rhetorical question why the public should be concerned at the Internet bans and their discriminatory nature when it came to internet gambling. He explained that the bans attacked the basic freedom of the internet, and their discriminatory nature sets an unfortunate precedent whereby lawmakers might arbitrarily pick some other popular internet activity to be given similar treatment, diluting further the liberty of the internet.