Millions of Americans play poker online (amongst other casino games), yet the United States government deems it illegal. The fact that they do this is simply ridiculous and, in fact, makes absolutely no sense economically. Instead of legalizing and regulating online poker to gain billions of dollars of revenue for our country, the government forces poker players to ship money offshore to countries that will gladly take our money.
The government cannot prevent millions of us from playing. They force banks to block our online gambling transactions, however, it does no good. All we have to do is get a prepaid Visa debit card or deposit the funds into our poker account through various other avenues. So while the United States government might think they are doing their part in preventing us from playing online, they are not. The only thing they are doing is making it slightly more of a pain in the backside to deposit our money.
Poker is a game of skill, not a game of chance like many people believe. There is absolutely no reason it shouldn't be legalized to play online, especially considering it is legal in casinos. I have heard the argument from advocates that it would take away from the local casino revenues. I do not buy that because, like I have already stated, millions of Americans are already playing poker online. If they legalize it, I wouldn't expect more than a 2% increase in number of players playing online. The other argument is the fear of so many people becoming addicted to the game. To that I ask, doesn't personal responsibility matter anymore?
Online poker is fun, it is a great game of skill, and there is absolutely no rational reason as to why it is illegal in the United States. Hopefully our government will eventually see the errors in their online poker philosophy and instead of forcing us to ship our money off to other countries, make it legal to play online and start generating billions of dollars in revenue by taxing it and bringing those offshore companies over here to help boost our economy.
Jon Sofen is an avid poker enthusiast.