Why online poker is still illegal: money and politics

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid isn’t helping the cause, Politico reports

This story on Politico today examines the behind-the-scenes haggling in Washington and Nevada that has resulted in a stalemate that continues to keep millions of Americans from enjoying their recreational activity of choice: online poker.

And the story confirms everything that I've long known about what drives this debate: It's all about who gets what slice of the pie.

Yes, there are opponents of online poker who take a moralistic stance: Gambling is wrong, so it should be illegal. And there are opponents of online poker who are paternalistic: Gambling can be addictive, so it should be illegal.

But these voices, no matter how sincere, play no real role in keeping online poker illegal and will play no real role in legalizing it, when that eventually comes to pass ... as it will.

No, sir. This debate is all about protecting turf and carving up the spoils. The players who matter are state lotteries, casino operators, Native American tribes and the politicians who carry their water in Washington.

It has nothing to do with right or wrong. It has nothing to do addiction. Heck, it doesn't really have anything to do with poker or the Internet.

It's all about the money.

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