Republicans Made a Bad Bet Against Online Poker

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 at 10:50 AM

The British online gambling firm PartyPoker is taking it in the shorts after the U.S. cracked down on online gambling last fall. The company lost $47 million in the past six months and saw a 70 percent drop in profits. I have an crazy theory about the 2006 mid-term elections, and I am going to share it on the principle that every American is entitled to one off-the-wall explanation for an election's outcome, per election.

Poker table photograph by Adrian SampsonForget Rush Limbaugh's cruel pantomime of Michael J. Fox, the quagmire in Iraq or the steady drumbeat of K Street corruption. I think Republicans lost both houses of Congress because President Bush signed a tough law against online gambling in October, weeks before the vote.

The new law outlawed financial transactions between online casinos and American banks and credit card companies, cutting off Americans from the ability to play Texas Holdem and other games online for real money.

This decision affected the many people gambling on cards at online casinos, an activity comparable to fantasy sports leagues and office pools on football games. When the players were cut off, it sparked so much fury that a 500,000-member grassroots organization, the Poker Player's Alliance, has sprung up to repeal the law.

Online poker players are predominantly male, relatively well off and completely obsessed with the game. My brother-in-law went through a phase where poker occupied every waking thought that wasn't devoted to eating, excreting or admiring women in beer commercials. He'd regale us at family gatherings with stories that all had the same basic structure:

  1. I was playing a hand of Texas Holdem the other day.
  2. I drew some specific cards and needed this other card.
  3. I did (or did not) succeed.
  4. It rocked (sucked).

So weeks before the election, President Bush gave the Republican stamp of approval to a prohibition on online gambling, hitting millions of American men right in their pocket pair. If Democrats are smart, they'll repeal the law in October 2008 and the party's presidential nominee will announce that if elected, the White House will be renamed GoldenPalace.Com.

Photo: Adrian Sampson


Wot's the deal?

Spud's got to hand it to you Rogers, yer really onto something with this whole "Rs lost the '06 elections due to their stOOpid anti-gambling laws" theory.

Yer not afraid to call a spade a spade there.

It's a safe bet that the casino lobbyists in the US were the primary forces behind this dumb decision tht's leaving the US in the unenviable position of being one of the few countries in the world where you can't play Texas Hold 'Em on-line fer real scratch. Not even in Texas, ironically enuff.

Spud luffs irony ...and bad jokes.

Spud's a bit of a *a-hem* card hisself, ya see.

Be Well.

/admiring women in beer commercials?

//Spud thinks they should experiment with the idear of using T&A laden beer commercials to try and get guys in coma's to regain at least some level of conciousness. Couldn't hurt to try, certainly.