MySA – MySanAntonio.com
Web Posted: 10/18/2006 11:05 PM CDT
San Antonio Express-News
Well, that certainly didn’t take long.
President Bush was quick to sign the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act last Friday — legislation loosely tied on to the broader Port Security Act — sending the online poker community into a tailspin.
The signing of the legislation was marked as a triumph for the security of the country. The $400 million port-security bill is designed to further inspect shipping containers, keeping them void of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
Bush was ecstatic during the signing ceremony, and for good reason. In this post-9-11 world, security talk is the kind of stuff people like to hear from elected officials.
“We’re going to protect our ports. We’re going to defend this homeland, and we’re going to win this war on terror,” Bush said to reporters at the signing ceremony.
All of the talk was focused on security, and Bush made no reference to the part of the bill that attacks the online poker industry.
In the eyes of lawmakers, it was illegal to do it before, and continues to remain illegal today. All they did was make it more difficult to do by forcing banks to block wire transactions to offshore gambling enterprises.
Rest assured, nobody is going to jail or will get so much as the equivalent of a parking ticket for playing Internet poker.
To be fair, the security of our nation’s ports from nuclear and biological weapons should take center stage over online poker in any discussion. Nice work.
But what is unfair is the fact that an activity enjoyed by an estimated 3 million people in the U.S. seemed to get shoved through the political system with very little debate and discussion.
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