I don’t mean to be indigent about the matter, but who’s kidding who. We have gambling in virtually every state of the union. Whether it’s the horse race tracks that stretch across the U.S., or the slot machines and poker rooms inside those race tracks, or the casinos on “Riverboats” and Indian Reservations, or just the state sponsored gambling – the lotteries, scratchoffs and PowerBALL!! And, let’s don’t forget those destination Mecca’s of Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
I can’t remember the last time I was anywhere in the United States where I could not drive to a major casino within 30 minutes. Yet, we keep living under the illusion that there is something unseemly if not downright immoral about gambling online. Well, it is happening, of course. Every day, all across the U.S., players are getting online and gambling. Whether it’s playing the NFL at their favorite online sports book, or finding a seat in their favorite online poker room, or playing a little blackjack, Americans are on the internet every day playing.
So what do we gain out of this charade that gambling shouldn’t be allowed online. One thing we guarantee is that any regulation of it is done somewhere else and, let’s face it, that usually means it’s not done at all. Now I’m not pointing any fingers, but in small island countries where online gambling has become a major part of their economy, don’t we really have the wolves guarding the henhouse.
Another thing we get is to let someone other than the United States benefit from all those tax dollars that the regulating country receives. At a time when we have staggering federal deficits, we certainly would want to bring in millions of dollars of tax revenue off of online gaming.
Does this remind anyone of anything? I don’t know if you’re watching the new HBO series “Boardwalk Empire.” But, I swear 1920 Atlantic City is difficult to distinguish from 2010 Anywhere USA. No one wanted prohibition more than the bootleggers. The biggest opponents of legalized gambling in the U.S. are those who are doing it offshore and keeping the big Vegas boys out of the business. It’s the wild west out there right now, and it’s about time someone stood up, บาคาร่า stopped all the nonsense, and began to tame it.
Just when it looked like we were headed in this direction, Congress up and passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which purposes to have banks and financial institutions stop the transfer of funds from your and my banking accounts to offshore casinos. Well, that was a huge setback. A bill has been introduced in Congress to reverse the effect of the UIGEA and allow for online poker rooms to operate in the United States, but this bill did not make it to House floor for a vote in 2009.
Gambling is an accepted part of American life. Anyone that tries to tell you otherwise is just kidding you (and maybe themselves). Let’s just get this behind us, acknowledge what already is, and start moving forward with American based online gambling.
On the day after Australia’s biggest horse race, the Melbourne Cup, I saw the need to comment on the different forms of gambling and debate on… is poker gambling?
I enjoy the odd flutter on the Gee Gees once a year on the first Tuesday of November for the race that stops the nation and yesterday was no exception. I do it because I enjoy catching up with mates and having a laugh over a few beers. However, I value my money and don’t see the need to risk my hard earned cash on the gamble of horse racing on a regular basis. I believe there is more control when you are holding all the cards and you can possibly dictate the outcome. And horse racing is simply too unpredictable.
I spent the day watching friends and strangers part with their dollars, some with enjoyment and others with sheer hope. You hear the mutter of “a sure thing” and “I like the colors” or “it runs well in the wet”. However none of them ever really know.
So You Think was the name of the shortest favorite in many, many years. And you guessed it, it didn’t win. There were suggestions of this horse being the best thing since Pharlap. With the weight of the nation on its back, it simply couldn’t deliver and fell short to run a tiring third.
The punters gambled and most of the punters lost.
Then what about Roulette, Craps, Black Jack and all the other Casino games are they considered gambling?
Some will tell you they have systems and they can count cards, but at the end of the day there is risk and gambling.
I even consider share trading as gambling!
So is poker Gambling?
Well it depends on your ability, your knowledge and your experience. You have the option to reduce the risk. Reduce the element of gambling by learning your craft. There will always be the elements of luck involved in the cards you receive, but knowing your opponents, bluffing and reading people is not a gamble, it’s a profession. It’s a skill and an art form. Like anything, the better you are the more successful you will be.
So is poker gambling… I believe not if you do your homework and study this wonderful game, you will reap the rewards. The power is in your hands and so is the option to gamble. Remove the element of gambling in poker and you will see the results. By the way, I did manage to back the winner, Americain, so I came home with the money I went with and had a great day. I can’t wait to get back to the poker tables though. Till then, deal yourself hands and not too many feet.