US curbs on online poker compared to Prohibition

October 25, 2011
A poker table during a championship. A former US senator who now represents poker players compared US efforts to curb online gambling to Prohibition on Tuesday as he argued for legislation that would allow Internet gaming.

A former US senator who now represents poker players compared US efforts to curb online gambling to Prohibition on Tuesday as he argued for legislation that would allow Internet gaming.

Alphonse D'Amato also told a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade that legalizing and regulating online poker would help prevent abuses by the offshore companies that currently dominate the industry.

US law prohibits US from knowingly accepting payments for online gambling made through credit cards, electronic transfers and checks, but bills have been introduced in Congress to ease the restrictions.

In April, 11 people were charged with , money laundering and other offenses in a crackdown on the three largest online poker companies -- Absolute Poker, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.

US prosecutors compared Full Tilt Poker to a "" last month and said the site stole $440 million from players around the world.

"Had we had legislation we could have prevented players from being taken advantage of," said D'Amato, a former senator from New York who now chairs the Alliance.

"The problem that we have now seems to me very parallel to what we had in Prohibition," D'Amato said, referring to the 1919-1933 US ban on alcohol that gave rise to a flourishing underground liquor industry.

"Billions of dollars that today flow across our borders and onto offshore websites could be kept here... yielding billions of dollars in revenue for the federal government, all without having to raise taxes," D'Amato said.

Parry Aftab, an advisor to FairPlayUSA, which advocates legalized , estimated that Americans are gambling between $4 billion and $6 billion offshore annually and the "vast majority" of sites are unregulated.

"The lack of proper regulation leaves Americans at risk," Aftab said. "Offshore sites can endanger minors and expose adult consumers to fraud.

"Offshore sites also leave consumers with no legal recourse in disputes with unregulated operators," she said.

"State-of-the-art technology, coupled with strict regulation, will enforce our laws, protect players and children, and create tens of thousands of American jobs," Aftab said.

Explore further: Group says poker winnings are frozen

Related Stories

Group says poker winnings are frozen

June 10, 2009

(AP) -- An advocacy group for online poker said Tuesday that the federal government has frozen more than $30 million in the accounts of payment processors that handle the winnings of thousands of online poker players.

11 charged in US crackdown on online poker

April 15, 2011

Eleven people have been charged with bank fraud, money laundering, illegal gambling and other offenses in a crackdown on the three largest online poker companies operating in the United States.

Poker domain names unfrozen to allow refunds

April 20, 2011

US authorities said Wednesday they were unfreezing the domain names of two online poker companies targeted in a crackdown on Internet gambling so US players could withdraw their money.

Caesars CEO: Poker indictments present opportunity

April 26, 2011

(AP) -- Federal indictments targeting the three largest online poker companies present an opportunity for the United States to fully legalize and regulate the $6 billion industry, the chief executive of the world's largest ...

First guilty plea in US online poker case

May 24, 2011

The American president of a Costa Rica-based company is facing up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to illegally processing payments for Internet poker firms.

Major online poker room ordered to halt operations

June 29, 2011

One of the largest online poker rooms, Full Tilt Poker, was ordered Wednesday to immediately halt operations by authorities on the Channel Island of Alderney, where it is registered, the regulator said.

Recommended for you

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

Smallest 3-D camera offers brain surgery innovation

August 28, 2015

To operate on the brain, doctors need to see fine details on a small scale. A tiny camera that could produce 3-D images from inside the brain would help surgeons see more intricacies of the tissue they are handling and lead ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

3 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Robert_Wells
5 / 5 (1) Oct 25, 2011
I miss Pokerstars :(
COCO
not rated yet Oct 26, 2011
I guess Casino Wall Street does not need this type of control - ha - I am just bluffing!
COCO
not rated yet Oct 26, 2011
I guess Casino Wall Street does not need such controls - HA - just bluffing!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.