Online Casino > Online Casino News > Professional Poker player Annie Duke urged Congress to legalize and regulate the online poker industry
Professional Poker player Annie Duke urged Congress to legalize and regulate the online poker industryThe July 24, 2010, By Bernard Lamothe
Professional Poker player Annie Duke urged Congress on Wendesday to legalize and regulate the online poker industry, saying the game is ever growing in populartity, and that in many ways it is safer to play online than at a card table.
In a speech to the House, Annie Duke told lawmakers that she had just returned from the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, and that she estimated that the game was now attractive over seventy million players across the country.
"This industry is growing and not going away," said Duke, who promotes an online poker site. "We should not stick our head in the sand."
Duke said she understands that some people dislike gambling.
"What is harder to respect is the idea that, because someone disapproves of a particular activity, they would seek to have the government prevent others from engaging in it," she said.
Duke, a champion poker player, said that in many ways, it was safer playing poker online that at traditional playing houses. It can be impossible to tell if another person is cheating in real life, or even if the house is cheating. However, online poker rooms often employed software designed specifically to apprehend cheaters, to track every hand, and to mark the habits of each poker player. When a cheating scandal was discovered at Ultimatebet.com a few years ago, its owners refunded $22 million to victims, she said.
But as far as cheating at a table game, "I have never seen a penny refunded to the players affected," she said.
Lawmakers are split on the legislation, but U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the bill sponsor and also the committee chairman, has signaled he planned to proceed.
People opposing the bill, Frank contended, fall in two categories. Either they are competitors seeking to slow the online industry, he said, or they are "busybodies" who want to restrict gambling as socially unacceptable.