Obama: Worse Than Bush on Bullshit Gambling Moralizing, Too

The Obama Justice Department has indicted executives from the three largest online poker sites—Full Tilt, Absolute Poker, and PokerStars—on charges of money laundering and bank fraud.

This is the by far the most serious federal attack on online poker to date. I just checked my Full Tilt account. The site still appears to be up, but it isn't accepting payments. Or at least it didn't accept mine. The L.A. Times article linked above says Full Tilt's website was down with an FBI seizure notice put up in its place. But as of this writing, it appears to be back up.

Good to know where the DOJ's priorities lie. In this case, it's preventing millions of people from consensually wagering money in online card games, an exchange that causes no harm to anyone else. 

I predict this is going to prove to be a politically foolish move. Poker players are young, wealthy, and tend to be progressive on social issues. Reaction from the Poker Players Alliance here.

Reason on online gambling here.

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  • kilroy||

    Nothing like having the feds take out your competition. Seems like I just read last week what Harrah's and Wynn are both backing a law to legalize Internet gaming.

    Get 'em while it's still against the law!

  • kilroy||

    Here's the link

  • ||

    I hadn't thought of that angle to this. But where there's smoke...

  • ||

    Harry Reid's campaign bank account just received a few hundred thousand dollars in donations from Wynn and Harrah's.

  • It was a big fat envelope...||

    ...passed under the table.

  • ||

    Here's a fun game to play: name something that Obama is BETTER at than Bush. Offhand I can come up with three:

    1. Giving speeches.
    2. Campaigning (not entirely unrelated to 1).
    3. Filling out NCAA tourney brackets.

  • ||

    I'll address yours first:
    1. I'm not so sure the shine hasn't worn off that turd yet.
    2. I'll grant you that
    3. How would we know? Bush didn't whore himself to ESPN for a special.

    My top 3 would be:
    1. Making friends with other world leaders.
    2. Creating clever new phrases for "war."
    3. Winning Peace Prizes.

    Basically, I couldn't come up with any either.

  • Liberal Dipshit||

    He's better on civil liberties!

    He's for gay rights.
    He's drug marijuana liberalization.
    And he's anti-war!!

  • ||

    Somebody get my smelling salts.
    [swoons]

  • ||

    "He's better on civil liberties!

    He's for gay rights.
    He's drug marijuana liberalization.
    And he's anti-war!!

    SARCASM OVERLOAD WARNING!!!

    RED ALERT!

  • BushPig Obama||

    Is too!

  • ObamaPig Wubya||

    Hey, I won a Peace Prize too, remember?

  • BushPig Obama||

    Mine glows in the dark.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Ask the Libyans how "anti-war" Obama really is.

  • ||

    I can think of three things:

    1. The crack vs cocaine sentencing disparity bill

    2. Torturing terrorism suspects

    3. Obscenity prosecutions

    But that's pretty thin gruel.

  • ||

    Well, in fairness to Obama, Bush did set the bar pretty high.

  • ||

    Don't Ask Don't Tell, though it was within his power all along and it took him forever to do it.

    But as you say, that's an awfully sparse list to hang your hat on.

  • ||

    DADT thing was initiated by log cabin republicans, though. oh, the irony

  • ||

    It was essentially passed because Republicans won the 2010 elections, so people who wanted it passed wanted to get it done in the lame duck. Before, enough Dems were willing to wait even though the votes were there.

  • ||

    2. Torturing terrorism suspects

    But there's Bradley Manning. Would you like your torture in the form of waterboarding? Or indefinite naked solitary? I think I'd have to go with the waterboarding myself -- seriously.

  • ||

    He's taller and prettier....

  • ||

    Hate to admit it, but Obama was willing to take NASA's Constellation program (Dubya's 'We Choose' moment) out behind the barn...and put a bullet in the old sow.

    Now, the fact the biggest - LockMart & Thiokol - hogs on the USA (United Space Alliance) gravy-train are all-stars on the lefty hit list prolly had something to do with that. Ditto for all the actual work (and jobs!) being in not-so-blue places did it in too.

    Same political reasoning I think is also behind the F-22 getting whacked.

    But good Illinois-based unionized Blue Boeing gets its gravy-fix on the re-jiggered tanker contract. Which was originally an Airbus win, but now the Air Force will buy less capable planes for more money. And they'll be built in Blue Seattle, and not Red Alabama.

  • ||

    3. Filling out NCAA tourney brackets.

    I presume Bush is better at naming a single player on his favorite baseball team...which had just won the world series 3 years earlier.

    Does anyone outside Illinois remember that?

  • Gray Ghost||

    PokerStars won't let U.S. players enter real money tournaments now, as of about 3:30 PM. Delightful.

    Is there nothing at which Obama isn't worse than W!?

  • ||

    i hate to say i told you so (no, i don't). i *knew* obama would be worse. he is. all these people drawn in by his (fradulent) "constitutional scholar" civil liberties rhetoric... riiiiiiiight

    fwiw, the statist leftwing nanny legislature in my state made playing online poker a C felony - years ago. they have yet to actually prosecute for it but that's how they roll.

  • ||

    We should challenge them to a game... Winner writes the law.

  • ||

    I'd like to, but they've been dealing off the bottom of the deck for about 80 years now.

  • ||

    You really do not want me playing poker for your side.

    I am more of a fish than Charlie Tuna.

  • ||

    I'll cover for all of us.

  • ||

    Obama is such a bought and paid for piece of shit. It becomes clearer every day.

  • ||

    Epi, you tend to have well thought-out and reasonable comments.

    And you have succeeded again.

  • rather||

    lol

  • *.*||

    Why do all politicians act like anal venereal lesions?

  • sasob||

    If the Obama Justice Department wants to go after someone for bank fraud, it could start with the Federal Reserve Banking system.

  • ||

    Hell, it could practice on Goldman, Wells Fargo, and Citibank before taking on the Fed.

  • ||

    Make examples of Daschle and Geithner of what happens to fat-cats who don't pay their taxes! That's fraud isn't it?

  • Gray Ghost||

    The comments in the linked L.A. Times blog are hilarious, "But Bush signed the law!" "He's just enforcing it." Hopeless, the lot of them.

    I cannot wait for that fucking hack to be swept out of office like he so richly deserves. Of course, he'll make a mint til the end of his days, giving speeches and otherwise crookedly lobbying, but it's the best we can hope for.

    Seriously? With all the shit and corruption out there that Balko punched our nuts with every week, this is what gets the DoJ's attention?

  • ||

    You're not really surprised, are you? You'd have to be as blind as Anne Frank to not have seen this kind of shit coming.

  • Gray Ghost||

    No, just pissed.

    I fully expect online gambling to come back, sponsored by, and exclusive to, a few B&M outlets...that also happen to be giant contributors to Team Magenta. Tell me we're not going to see online poker from Bally's or IGT or the Wynn Group within the next two years? All licensed in Nevada, all affiliated with a B&M casino. If the Obama administration's really stupid, they'll jerk with all of the deposited money from the ~60M or so people in the U.S. who gamble online: freeze the funds, harass the accounts with the largest amounts, etc.

    It's just so nakedly corrupt. Not that I should've been surprised after the Kevin Johnson corruption case, where the correction was to fire the IG who exposed the malfeasance, instead of indicting Johnson's ass.

  • ||

    If the Obama administration's really stupid, they'll jerk with all of the deposited money from the ~60M or so people in the U.S. who gamble online: freeze the funds, harass the accounts with the largest amounts, etc.

    I hope they do exactly that. The deluge of phone calls, emails and letters to Congress will be astounding.

    My guess is that the DoJ decided to do this on a Friday in the hopes that it will all blow over by Monday.

  • ||

    Anne Frank was blind?

  • He meant....||

    ...Patty Duke, I'm sure.

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    Helen Keller?

  • CatoTheElder||

    er ... you mean Helen Keller, don't you?

  • ||

    Who the hell is Helen Keller?

  • CatoTheElder||

    a blind woman

  • CatoTheElder||

    but I think I get your point

  • ||

    No Clerks II fans on this thread, I see.

  • db||

    Kevin Smith has been dead to me ever since his sloppy blowjob of a review of The Phantom Menace came out.

  • CatoTheElder||

    I missed that classic, obviously.

  • Ming the Merciless Siamese Cat||

    The Jewish girl in the attic.

  • No, it was really......||

    her body double.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The best thing we have going for us with Obama is that, if he sticks to tradition and disappears from "public service" after his presidency, is that he's still pretty young and we won't have to deal with him ever fucking again.

  • ||

    , is that he's still pretty young and we won't have to deal with him ever fucking again.

    Until somebody, probably himself, pushes to repeal the 22nd Amendment because we need the annointed one. After all, the 22nd Amendment was racist by nature because it was designed to keep the first black President from serving for life, as God his father meant for him to do.

    All praise the living God-king! Hail to the Chief.

  • West Texas||

    Yes, this is meant to be sarcastic, but please don't give anyone ideas.

  • SIV||

    The Republicans forced Obama to go after online poker. If the GOP can paint him as "soft on gambling" he won't have that second term to legalize marijuana!

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    Dollars to doughnuts I'm going to hear this argument used in earnest before too long. I already personally know people who outright deny the DEA shenanigans happening.

  • ||

    "The comments in the linked L.A. Times blog are hilarious, 'But Bush signed the law!' 'He's just enforcing it.' Hopeless, the lot of them."

    Like _that_ was the sales pitch when Obama ran for Prez: "Whatever Bush did, consider it rubber stamped!"

  • robc||

    Hope and Change!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    ...and make way for the NEXT fucking hack, Ghost?

    Fucking hacks... how can we make them not work?

  • ChrisO||

    Clearly, those three companies failed to pay the appropriate amount of baksheesh to the appropriate persons.

  • ||

    Playing $1 tables or putting $5 parlays on NFL Sunday is horrible 'gambling.'

    But having trillions of leveraged bucks in bundled mortgages with no underlying paperwork on lenders with collective FICO

  • ||

    Stupid VB tags whacked my post. Or, it was, the MAN!

  • TheMAN||

    It was me!

  • Paul||

    I predict this is going to prove to be a politically foolish move. Poker players are young, wealthy, and tend to be progressive on social issues. Reaction from the Poker Players Alliance here.

    Radley, all this means is that during campaign season, we get treated to "Why I'm Supporting Obama" editorials from the very progressives you're referring to.

    If you think a bunch of people who are progressive on social issues are going to swing away from Obama and straight into Sarah Palin's camp because a bunch of corporate executives got pinched by an over-reaching Obama justice department, think again.

  • ||

    They won't vote R, but this is the kind of thing that might make them stay home on election day.

  • Atanarjuat||

    Progressives might give their vote to the green party if the Democrats manage to piss them off.

  • Apogee||

    No. Progressives do what they're told.

  • ||

    I'm worried about what this sort of thing means for fantasy sports online too.

    I won both my football and hockey leagues this year--it's a game of skill with luck involved, just like poker is. And you're not playing against the house when you're playing fantasy sports either--you're playing against each other, just like in poker.

    I don't see how they can crack down on one without cracking down on the others--and you can play fantasy sports for money on CBS Sports' website.

  • ||

    I would argue it's a game of luck with skill involved, but that's nitpicking.

  • Gray Ghost||

    As a bitter loser this last year in FF, I tend to agree with you Club. I'm still pissed off at Carolina's backfield.
    /that FF guy who won't shut up about his team.

  • Amakudari||

    Ah, perhaps another Panthers fan?

    After those 1-15 and 2-14 seasons, I'm pretty sure I've developed total immunity to smack talk.

  • ||

    There's gotta be some reason I keep winning over and over again.

    Year after year? League after league?

    Even if it was just a 1/12 chance times a 1/12 chance for this year--what about all the other 1/12 chance leagues I won?

    I'm not cheating, and I'm not that lucky.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Oh, I'm not disagreeing with you, Ken. I'd won my league for something like the prior 4 or 5 years in a row, admittedly most of the people in it were not that good at FF. I'm just agreeing with Club that there's a ginormous amount of luck that goes into it. Of course, the right structure (auction vs. snake, how waivers are processed, how deep the league is) has a lot to do with how much luck is involved too. Really, I was just trying to convey my anger at last year's season---Fuck you Favre, you ridiculous drama queen, drug addict, INT-chucking, sack of shit!---without being that guy that just will not shut up about how his fantasy team is doing.

    Congrats on your successes. And isn't the tale of the UIGEA and the NFL (thanks for the info, Radley) so fucking typical of how things work these days?

    So, assuming history repeats, which it never does, but assuming it did: which part of the Roman Empire does this portion of American history correspond to? Gotta' be after the Third Punic, and probably after the Good Emperors period. How about somewhere in the Severan Dynasty, maybe between Caracalla and Alexander Severus? Abolished standing juries, large monumental civic works projects that were funded by debt and confiscation, broadening of eligibility for citizenship? "Imperial court dominated by formidable women," per the wiki. More than a few parallels.

  • ||

    I think we're still in the Republican period--but during the time of the Gracchi brothers.

    But if Obamus Sempronius Gracchus keeps playing his cards the same way, we'll be in the empire period in no time!

  • ||

    Oh, and FWIW...

    If you get into hockey? I think it's even more of a skill game.

    It's like playing in a poker tournament with 82 hands vs. playing in a poker tournament with only 16.

    The more hands I play, the more skill there is in playing smart--but anybody can win with just 16 hands dealt.

    Every hockey team plays 82 games a year. Football does only 16. You get the picture!

    Anyway, I think my odds of winning are a lot better than what it costs me to play. They're only paying 6-1 if I win, but I think I have a legitimate 50/50 chance of winning. It's certainly no worse than 3-1.

    At some point it stops becoming gambling. There are variables with associated probabilities I deal with in my work too.

    I'm not an auto-maker, but they have to take factors that are subject to chance into consideration too, but that doesn't make it gambling in my book.

    I don't think being an actuary is the same things as being a gambler either. I guess it's a cognitive bias that's hardwired into our brains that chance is equal to gambling--and people shouldn't be allowed to take chances.

    I'm sure that attitude's gotten worse since TARP and the bailouts too.

  • Amakudari||

    One part of fantasy is whether people manage their teams (remove players who won't start/are injured) actively. I think one could have a simple program that would bench players listed as injured or have had low production recently, and trade for high-performing free agents, and do better than the bottom 50% of most fantasy leagues.

  • ||

    I've seen people not show up for drafts and have the auto-picker pick them better teams than I think they would have picked themselves too.

    There's definitely some invisible hand at work in draft averages--but I wouldn't go by that. I think draft averages are there to be taken advantage of in snake drafts, where I can know who's probably still gonna be on the board on my next pick.

    It lets me take some players later than I would, and then lets me be more aggressive in taking others earlier than I would.

    Luck's something you can plan for too--my strategy last year was to take Kolb in the mid rounds and getting a better WR than I would have otherwise when most people were taking the second tier quarterbacks. I figured that whoever was the QB in Philly that year would do well because of the excellent O-line, a collection of the league's best receivers and an awesome running game to boot!

    When Kolb went down the second or third game of the year, I picked up Vick because I thought his running game would match up well against Detroit. Everybody's mother was running great against Detroit's defense the year before, and they hadn't changed much--so with a running QB like Vick running against them? I didn't see how any other QB that week could be a better one week replacement...

    We all know how Vick's year went. That waiver-wire pick just put money in my pocket. I was a later waver-wire picker that week too--nobody else wanted him 'cause they thought he was a one-week replacement!

    Did I know Vick was gonna be any better this season than last--before the season started?

    Hell no.

    Was making room for someone like him part of my draft strategy on draft day?

    Hell yes. Lucky as hell. ...and totally planned for.

  • Radley Balko||

    The NFL both lobbied for the UIGEA's passage and lobbied for (and won) an exemption for online fantasy sports.

  • ||

    Yup. We're cool on office-pools for our brackets.

  • ||

    That would be hilarious if it wasn't so awful.

    Like I said, CBS Sports on their website offers fantasy games--for pay--with buy ins of $500!

    Check out this link:

    http://football.cbssports.com/.....pln/single

    That's a $500 buy in!

    I'm almost afraid to bring it to people's attention for fear it might get shut down--but it's hard not to notice that if it's "poker" and a company that isn't a household name, then it's illegal...

    ...but if it's CBS and fantasy football, somehow it's okay?

    It's the same thing! We're not playing against the house. ...and it's a game of skill with some luck involved.

  • ||

    Oh, and while we're on the topic, when the time comes around?

    Starting a Libertarian Fantasy Football league for Hit & Run All-Stars is a must.

    ...or you all could just send me your money, whatever makes you happy.

  • ||

    Maybe this is some sort of bone BO is throwing to Harry Reid.

  • cynical||

    Worst... president... ever...

    I'm pretty sure I could vote for Donald Trump right now and feel like it was a justifiable decision. DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO ME, OBAMA???

  • CatoTheElder||

    It really is that bad, isn't it?

  • Kolohe||

    I predict this is going to prove to be a politically foolish move.

    I'd like to believe that, but I don't. The worst thing that will happen is that they'll stay home (nobody on the Republican side will be any better) and they are a decidedly a niche constituency, so it won't matter that they do.

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    I'm a professional poker player.

    Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

  • DDavis||

    I don't suppose you'll show up in the tallies of the "officially unemployed". Along with millions of other folks.

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    It looks like the feds might seize or seriously delay me getting my operating capital back in hand. Ugh. I have entirely too little cash on hand so I guess that depends on how well cashing out goes!

    I live in an area with legal live poker (Indian casinos) but the rake is brutal and the volume is terrible.

    I really didn't expect this, it seemed like some backroom deals were going on that indicated some sort of legalization push (Pokerstars and Wynn, etc.) and, well, it's not 2012 and reelection time yet.

  • affenkopf||

    Emigration is always an option.

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    I've seriously considered it before. Thinking about it again. Problem is that everywhere else is worse in some other way or ways.

    Plus my effective net worth has just nosedived so I don't quite have the range of choices I might. Probably be some 10-month plus fiasco or more to get the money. Christ. What an unmitigated disaster.

  • ||

    Luckily I had just cashed most of my bankroll but don't know what i'm gonna do without the extra income from poker. First the oil spill kills my income last summer (musician working the casino/hotel circuit on the coast) then this.

  • General Sani db Abacha||

    It is with deep sense of purpose and utmost sincerity that I write this letter to you knowing full well how you will feel as regards to reading a comment from somebody you have not met or seen before. There is no need to fear, I got your address from this fine blog where your comments are frequently most cogent and excessively smart. I also assure you of my honesty and trustworthiness.

    When I was a director in the Ministry Of Mines and Natural Resources, I was the link between the foreign buyers of DIAMOND and the SIERRA-LOENIAN Government. Just before the out broke of the Civil War in SIERRA-LEONE, there was some payment made to the Government of SIERRA-LEONE by our foreign Diamond buyers for the Diamond they purchased. I had to divert the sum Totaling up to Thirty-Two Million Dollars (US$32,000,000.00) into a PokerStars account for safe keeping because of the Civil War.

    I graciously request your assistance in retrieving our Country's funds, which have, as you are aware been frozen by PokerStars as a result of action by the FBI. I am authorized to offer you the sum of $16,000,000 US DOLLARS in exchange for your assistance through the use of your PokerStars account for our funds retrieval.

    In order to start this transaction we must ask you to create a new PokerStars account and to transfer the sum of at least $10,000 into it as a starter seed. After which we will transfer the entire amount into account. It is imperative that you provide us the password in order that we may verify the successful completion of transfer of funds.

    I graciously await your exalted reply, and once again ask your esteemed assistance in this delicate and confidential matter.

    Sincerely, with great hope,

    General Sani db Abacha
    Director, Ministry Of Mines and Natural Resources
    SIERRA LOENE

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    This guy is exactly as trustworthy as Obama.

  • Rock Action ||

    +1. Oh, man...thank you for that.

  • ||

    This has nothing to do with OBAMA! Remember the UIGEA was attached to the port security bill by the republicans! Yes I said it the republicans. They are the ones at fault for this not the democrats.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Damn ... them ... ALL.

  • ||

    Denial of reality. The DoJ has a lot of discretion in what investigations to run. But thanks for illustrating why poker players are such naive fish in politics, and why they will always lose.

  • ||

    i played a fair amount and won consistently (i've won tournaments, etc.) until the fucking leftwing nannystate assholes in my state made it a C felony. they don't prosecute anybody for it, but it's not worth losing my job over. fucking still pisses me off

  • Donald Trump||

    Let me tell you, there is nothing that Obama can do that I will not do better.

  • Were all doomed||

    "The site still appears to be up, but it isn't accepting payments. Or at least it didn't accept mine."

    Could that be because you haven't paid your credit card bills in a while?

  • ||

    Today I learned that if I want to operate an online poker service, I should locate my business anywhere but the United States.

    Way to protect American Jobs, Barry!

    -jcr

  • ||

    ---"Today I learned that if I want to operate an online poker service, I should locate my business anywhere but the United States."---

    Full Tilt Poker---Ireland
    PokerStars---Isle of Man
    Absolute Poker---Costa Rica

    Didn't seem to help much.

  • ||

    Yeah, they got them for dealing with usa banks.

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    Seriously Obama, worst fucking timing ever. It's not like the poker world didn't already take a serious hit from UIGEA and the Neteller witchhunt. Totally fucks up my whole life.

    Already quite sick of reading "but but but Bush and the RepubliKKKans!!!" handwaving or outright denial of reality on 2+2 and elsewhere.

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    I have to say the guy has an amazing PR department. The utter refusal to lay any blame or responsibility that I keep seeing from people who really should know better... we truly have found angels in the form of kings to govern man.

  • ||

    The seizing of the websites is interesting (all I see is a DOJ warning now).
    I wonder what the administrative procedure for fighting that is? If they websites are hosted off shore, what is the jurisdictional angle? Also how are they killing it sites?
    Big implications beyond just some online gambling sites.

  • affenkopf||

    Pokerstars is still available in Europe.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Online poker remains available in free countries everywhere.

    It is only blocked in places like Saudi Arabia, the Peoples Republic of China, and the USA.

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    Online poker is illegal in China but as the Chinese government hasn't mounted an organized shakedown/harassment campaign against the poker sites, Chinese players can still play and are playing right now.

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    I've seen the occasional Saudi player too (I would be surprised if it's not illegal there) so yeah. This fucking country.

  • Amakudari||

    Pokerstars is not available in Japan.

    Japan doesn't give two shits about online gambling, by the way. It's illegal, but we're blessed (and cursed) with the least technically competent bureaucracy in the developed world.

  • Mike M.||

    It is only blocked in places like Saudi Arabia, the Peoples Republic of China, and the USA.

    It sure is good to be in the "land of the free", isn't it?

  • Draco||

    This story was covered by GMA this morning. For that gang of cheerful and idiotic statists, the angle was that the UIGEA "made online gambling illegal" but these companies were thumbing their noses at the law, so the FBI is finally shutting them down. The prognosis was that internet poker was dead in the short term, but possibly viable in the longer term, once enough people demanded that it be legal.

    They mentioned that $3 BB in fines had been levied, which I'm sure is enough to wipe out all of the remaining major players. I think Party Poker was smart to immediately leave the US market as soon as the UIGEA passed.

    My thought was: how many hundreds of thousands of people's weekends have these bastards ruined by shutting down a harmless activity that requires the peaceful assembly of like minded citizens who wish to participate in a game of skill with some luck elements, enabled by modern technology? And as we saw from the earlier comments, for some this was a livelihood, not just a hobby.

    This is just pure, dead-weight economic loss, and a horrible violation of human liberty as well. A sad day for America, and a triumph for tyranny.

  • ||

    When it's reintroduced, it'll be the big guys selling the poker too.

    It'll be MGM, Caesar's and the like.

    It's like when they took Napster out. They framed it in terms of copyright violation, but their real problem was that it took the big companies out of the equation.

    Vegas is still hurting.

  • Otto||

    I hate to say this, but I suspect that the money frozen in those accounts will be swiped "seized" by the government.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Agreeing with Aresen above, in that part of me really hopes that happens, Otto. I don't think that it will; I think they'll follow the Neteller course of indicting the heads, sorting out the bank accounts and releasing the funds to most people. That said, if I had any money in those accounts, whether I was an American citizen or not, I'd have tried to yank it out the second I heard of it. Sucks for all those people with player points and other perks. Doubt those'll transfer over when the Gov't crony online casinos start up in a few months. Wonder if the new online card rooms will have automated 1099s issued whenever a player wins or transfers funds out of the card room's account?

    As I said above, it's just so fucking nakedly corrupt, such a shameless robbery from one group to give to another group that's tighter with the pols.

  • West Texas||

    I am so sick of government trying to save me from myself. What games I play, what drugs I shoot up with, who I fuck, how I pay my doctor, how much I save for retirement... all of those things are ultimately no one's business but my own.

    Unfortunately, a great many Americans seem to think that saving people from themselves is the government's job and approve of nonsense like this. And for that we all suffer.

  • MNG||

    When the DOJ continued the marijuana raids I said Obama is either failing to keep a major promise or cannot control his DOJ, or both. The same looks true here. Obama is defining liberalism as only taxing and spending, he's done more to make that caricature true than any right wing radio show.

  • BushPig Obama||

    Watch it minge, you are close to crossing the "do not cross" line.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I don't think liberals just tax and spend. Despite all the social freedom bullshit, they're paternalists, too. There really is nothing liberal about "liberals".

  • ||

    lol, no one is worse than ex dictator Bush, sorry.

    www.web-anonymity.at.tc

  • ||

    The computer I use to play online poker is situated in my bedroom. I thought "progressives" wanted to keep government out of my bedroom.

  • Steve||

    Get your facts straight. This has nothing to do with obama, its a federal prosecutor in the southern district of newyork. They act nearly independently of the DOJ and this guy has been after online poker for years.

  • Richard ||

    Yes, because Obama has no control over the DOJ.

    He could tell Holder the tell the prosecutor to knock it off, or even push Congress to legalize Internet activities between consenting adults that don't harm anyone.

  • Born-Again Barack||

    You must be joking now.

  • ||

    You do realize that Obama is his boss and can fire him at will?

  • Ted S.||

    The president has the power to pardon people and let them go on flouting this horrid law.

  • Born-Again Barack||

    Now that I've personally closed down the on-line sinners' casinos, my next target is the wicked Indian Reservation casinos. Then VEGAS -- toward a new sinless, sterile society!

  • CatoTheElder||

    Maybe Obama really is a secret Muslim.

    His FBI is certainly acting like the Wahabi muttawa that are so beloved in Saudi Arabia.

  • ||

    How delusional can you be? The commenters on HP believe this is purely the result of the GOP.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....l#comments

  • HuffPost Ho'||

    Some of us are true believers whose faith cannot be shaken.

  • ||

    I accuse them of being faithful to the religion of HP. They tell me that I don't know what "faith" means. I tell them that they make claims without providing scientific evidence. Then you can hear crickets.

  • HuffPost Ho'||

    Vaccines cause autism.
    Rich peoples' money belongs to us.
    George W's destructive policies caused all the problems caused by Obama's destructive policies.
    Republicans are kooks and no Democrats are.

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    reality-based community

  • ||

    So what should online poker fans do now?

    1. Learn the basic lesson about politics - it's not about who is in charge, it's about what they will do. That means that your attention should be on lobbying and on campaign funding, not on voting. Votes will affect the big things (like the economy, and the big public social issues like DADT) but the small things like online poker are sold to special interests.

    2. Set up a PAC for online poker fans to contribute to and make donations to politicians who aren't declared opponents. Especially outside Nevada - don't help the people who already agree with you, give the people who don't care much personally a reason to be on your side and not the other side. $20,000 goes a long way in a congressional campaign if it comes in one big attributed chunk from a PAC; that congresscritter isn't going to want to piss that kinda money off.

    3. Take a look at getting a standard state-level law written and get it into a few referendums in a few states. Don't start with California, it's a money-pit, and it will get too much attention (which is really bad if you lose), and don't start with NV, because Vegas special interests will outspend you. Try Colorado or Montana if you can; lots of libertarian-inclined, independent-minded voters from both parties. You don't want the nanny-state northeast, or bible-belt south. Mountain states, midwest, PNW. UIGEA only applies to illegal gambling, and the feds can only regulate interstate commerce, so if the bettor and the site are in the same state, it's a state matter.

    4. Propose a small tax (1% of the rake, maybe) on online gambling within a state to be paid to the Indian tribes within that state. Several reasons for this, first the state will tax you one way or another, if you propose a small tax for a specific purpose then they will find it politically hard to increase it or steal it for general use; second, some tribes are making a killing from casino money, but a lot more are either making a small profit to share out between a lot of people, or don't have a casino in the first place, a steady income will look appealing to most tribes, so you neutralise their lobbying against you; third, it makes you look responsible and a lot of non-gamblers will go for that; fourth, get it through and lots of Indian tribes will start lobbying their states for the same - you just got a political ally.

  • ||

    First they came for the communist....

  • ||

    Same administration that refuses to close the border, won't prosecute black panther thugs, working hard to ruin our country, now strikes out at the real menace to society -On line poker- LMAO

  • Not to forget||

    Swat-team busts of pot boutiques and convicting Barry Bonds of not talking....

  • ||

    To all the Obama voters out there... I TOLD YOU SO.

    The free market impulse restrains the moralizing that the right can impose... the left has no such constraint.

  • ||

    Now this is a real "important project" for a worthless community organizer (rabble rouser.) Yep, that walking turd obuma is right on top-o-this, instead of trying to be a leader of some sort. What an absolute POS!!!

  • Sean Mack||

    I woke up this morning wondering if the left still supported any form of individual choice, in any aspect of life. The only thing I came up with was gay marriage, but then a terrible thing dawned on me:

    They don't like that because it lets gay people get married, they just like it because it forces straight-edge bourgeois types to reckon with homosexuality.

    In other words, they're totalitarian at heart even when they're not, but these days they're mostly just totalitarian.

  • Bob||

    Just what kind of change were people hoping for?

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Obamaland: Where caving to right-wing bureaucratic pressure is a way of life.

  • ||

    I don't think he cares about right-wing pressure, he only cares about center-right votes.
    So it's more like he's a sell-out than a wuss. There is a difference. Not sure which I'd rather be, though.

  • ||

    There has generally been a bipartisan consensus that the internet should be allowed to run more or less as an unrestricted free market...for everything else.

    But when it comes to "sin" consensus swings the other way. Try getting smokes, booze, pictures of young girls, etc shipped to you everywhere in the country.

    Somehow gambling is a sin (which makes it all right for the GOP, obviously)...except that it appears nowhere in the bible. The only reference is casting lots, and that's not gambling because no one was wagering. It was the bronze age equivalent of rock, paper, scissors.

    What the GOP should be freaking out about, I guess, is that all these dollars are going overseas. Therefore they should legalize it for American companies. [And for consistency keep it illegal for foreign companies.]

    Job creation. Hello?

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

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