Dumb Question Time
As the title of this post announces, I have a dumb question--Could an online poker site run a commercial arguing why online poker should be legalized? Like, could PokerStars, Full Tilt, UltimateBet, etc get together and, say, buy a 60-second commercial during the Super Bowl? Would that be legal? Would the network run it?
Could this be an effective way to get the legalize-poker message out there to the 50 million Americans who allegedly play the game? The Super Bowl is the biggest wagering day of the year and it's typically the most-watched event of the year. And some people pay more attention to the commercials than the game itself. How about a 60-second spot where, oh, Howard Lederer and Greg Raymer and Annie Duke (each representing a different site) pitch this idea to the American public. They could:
- explain the underhanded way the UIGEA was passed
- point out the hypocrisy of those who say that online poker is detrimental to society, as lotteries and horse racing were exempted
- point out that people with gambling problems are those most likely to try to circumvent the laws (and therefore are most likely to be exploited by unscrupulous operators)
- say that most people play poker for fun, be it online or with friends or family
- that poker players aren't criminals, and that they shouldn't be treated as such
- that the ban on poker is merely another attempt by the government to dictate how you should live your life
- explain that if poker was legalized, regulated, and taxed it would allow the government to protect players from shady sites, provide aid to those with gambling problems, and raise billions in tax revenue
I'm sure I'm missing some important points here, but would this be legal? Perhaps "legal" is the wrong word here, thanks to the twilight zone we find ourselves in. Would a network show something like this? They broadcast poker 24/7, but I don't know if they (or, more importantly, the FCC) would let it see the light of day.
Like I said, it may be a dumb question. But desperate times call for desperate measures.UPDATE:
I should say that I posted this in lieu of a much-longer piece about the whole Neteller arrest awfulness and how we're all about to jump in the handbag for our trip to Hell. Instead of just wondering how bad things are going to get I'm trying to think of ways to make things better. Extravagant, fanciful things.UPDATE UPDATE:
Neteller will no longer service US customers
, so far as gambling transactions go. So, that blows. That's about all I can say about that. No, it also sucks. It sucks and it blows.
Anticipating today's bad news, my UltimateBet overlords have announced a 100% bonus up to $650 for players who make a deposit using methods other than Neteller. Fight the good fight.UPDATE AGAIN: DoubleAs
makes a couple of points that I cravenly didn't bring up earlier in this post. Namely, shouldn't the WTO get involved here? The two men arrested didn't do anything illegal in their own country, nor did they have any relationship with Neteller besides being shareholders. Neteller is, after all, a publicly-traded company. As Amy Calistri mentioned in one of her PokerNews pieces
, if MGM did something naughty, could majority shareholder Kirk Kerkorian find himself surrounded by FBI agents? This assumes a universe where billionaires go to prison. And a government that cares about the rule of law.
Also, isn't the field wide-open for someone to step in and take over for Neteller? As Scott says, you just need to live in a country that won't extradite you and choose not to visit our fair country. One would think some manner of drug lord or cartel or plutocrat would look upon this as an ideal way of diversifying their portfolio. Much preferable to a publicly traded company like Neteller. Prohibition at work.