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Annie Duke on Internet Poker

Yesterday, Annie Duke testified to the House Committee on the Judiciary about playing poker on line: Why it should be legal, why the whining nannies lament about compulsive gambling is ridiculous, why the “for the chillllllllllldreeeeen” bleat is sensless, how poker is a game of skill, not luck, and quite a few other related issues. Here are a few excerpts:

“Of course, opponents of gaming will cite the incidence of compulsive gambling and the possible exposure of minors as reasons to prohibit it. With respect to compulsive gambling, this committee has received expert testimony confirming what most academic studies on compulsive gambling have found: that the incidence of problem gambling in the population of adults who engage in gambling activity is less than 1%. From a similar study in the United Kingdom, we know that the availability of betting over the Internet does not increase it over time. Furthermore, even if one’s primary concern were the very small incidence of compulsive gambling, then licensing and regulation offer more effective and less intrusive means to combat it.”

“Of course, prohibitionists point to the possibility of children betting online as the other justification for prohibiting it. In fact, most people who seek to restrict individual freedom invoke protection of children as their motivation. I suspect they find that that argument has more resonance than what is often their real motivation — to treat adults like children, and manage their choices for them.”

“To reiterate: if your concern in this matter is about children, there are solutions available. If, instead your interest is in treating adults like children, then there are not.”

“The vast majority of Internet poker players are doing so for recreation and entertainment. On average, a person spends $10 a week playing online poker. 10 dollars! You can’t even get a movie ticket for that price where I live!”

“In the proposed rule issued by the Department of the Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the regulators come right out and say that they cannot and will not tell the regulated community what constitutes an unlawful Internet wager. Let me emphasize — the posture of the Federal government is, “We are going to create a new federal crime, but we will not tell you what it is.” In the proposed rule, the regulators explain their refusal to resolve this by saying that to do so would require them to examine the laws of the federal government and all 50 states with respect to every gaming modality, and that this would be unduly burdensome. Yet that is exactly what they are requiring the general counsel of every bank in the country to do.”

Read the entire transcript here.

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3 Comment(s)

  1. Seriously impressive. Annie Duke sounds like a friend of mine. I have no interest in poker online or off but I do understand the appeal. At the very least it is a great social setting for a drop of Jack D. and a nice cigar.

    Bernie | Nov 20, 2007 | Reply

  2. Annie Duke is full of @###.Iam a poker pro (22 years)and I see wrecked lives everywhere I play.She is doing this for her own benefit.New players (fish) means easy money. I have played with Annie and believe me, She only looks out for herself.She is a selfish b….!

    dj | Jan 20, 2008 | Reply

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with Ms Duke’s comments. Thank goodness, the PPA has a spokesperson well qualified to present concerns of the general poker audience. However, I hope that the PPA has gone much further in pushing for the revision of this rediculous legislation that was piggy-backed onto a high profile issue of the time. Where do our state senator and representatives take the responsibility to read (new concept) legislation before them. Regardless of Ms Dukes personal motiviation, her concepts of personal choice certainly ring out.

    Thank you Annie !!

    John W | Aug 26, 2008 | Reply

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