Online poker buffs thought they had a victory when the Republican Party struck language out of their platform that spoke against online gambling. Unfortunately, the two sentences in question were put back in only a few short hours later. Celebrations were short-lived as online gamblers were taken aback by the abrupt about-face.
Here is the small bit that is causing all the commotion:
“Millions of Americans suffer from problems of pathological gambling that can destroy families. We support legislation prohibiting gambling over the Internet or in student athletics by student athletes who are participating in competitive sports.”
Somewhat confusing in it’s wording, it has been taken to mean pretty much a complete ban on using the internet for any type of wagering activity, even those like horse racing which are currently allowed under US law. The segment was removed by a draft committee in an attempt to appeal to a wider voter base. Just hours later, it was reinstated by the full Republican Platform Committee.
The Poker Players Alliance had a brief moment for victory celebrations in the interim. They had thought they had won the day through their ongoing efforts to have the language removed from the platform. The GOP had an open forum at the platform site where people could sign in and let the party leaders know how they felt about the various issues. More than 160 online poker players had posted comments that were overwhelmingly in favor of axing the clause against online gambling.
Even 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Greg Raymer added his voice to the website.
“My point is simple,” wrote Raymer. “Is the Republican Party no longer the party of personal freedom and individual responsibility? Why has this party, that used to protect my rights, now become the party that wants to create a Nanny-state? Stay away from issues of personal liberty, except to remove old laws that restrict these liberties.”