ATLANTA, Georgia – (PRESS RELEASE) -- The following statement has been issued
Magazine, America's largest poker magazine.
Congress passed legislation late in the evening on September 29th
making it illegal to use credit cards, checks and electronic fund transfers
for online poker. Known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act,
President Bush is expected to sign the legislation within the next two
weeks. Senate Republican leader Bill Frist of Tennessee attached the bill
to the popular Safe Port Act bill on Saturday, prior to Congress going into
recess for the upcoming election. As a result, several online-poker sites
are closing down and will no longer be doing business with US customers.
"Having been unable to gain enough support to pass the bill on its own
merits, Republican leaders strong-armed their way into piggy-backing the
bill on the must-pass Port Security Act," commented Eddy Kleid,
co-president of Bluff. He continued, "Why ban online poker? Apparently,
it's OK to play other online games for money on AOL, but for some reason,
which no one in Congress is willing to explain, poker is different. It
doesn't matter that a majority of Americans oppose the legislation, that 23
million American's play poker regularly, or that poker is a game of skill.
Needless to say, the poker community is very upset at the moment."
Michael Bolcerek, president of the Poker Players Alliance, the group
representing all of the major poker pros and over 100,000 poker
enthusiasts, added, "Passage of Internet Gambling Prohibition by Congress
came as a great shock to all, not just the manner in which is was attached
last minute to the Port Security Act, but the substance of a law that never
gained required consensus in years of Congressional debate. Poker players
in America will be hurt by this act of political trickery, and for what
purpose? To act as an angry 'nanny state,' dictate morality, and tell
Americans how they can spend their own money, and what they can access on
the internet. Yes, in the land of the free, we are deputizing banks to
monitor your each and every debit and credit, and censoring the internet
like the Chinese government. Poker is an 'American tradition' loved by over
70 million Americans and deserves the same free pass that was provided to
horseracing, state lotteries, and fantasy sports. We deserve another deal."
To discuss the issues further with Eddy Kleid, co-president of Bluff
Magazine or with Michael Bolcerek, president of Poker players Alliance
please contact: Jimmy Shapiro, firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-818-8883.