Negreanu comments on gambling ban
Pro player Daniel Negreanu posted a blog entry on his MySpace Web page outlining his opinions and predictions for the future of U.S. poker now that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) has been passed by the U.S. Congress.
The bill was passed after Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R - Tenn.) attached it to an unrelated port security bill Sept. 30. It aims to block U.S. financial institutions from processing payments to overseas Internet gambling sites.
Calling Frist a "slimy weasel," and insisting on referring to him as such from "here on in," Negreanu begins by explaining why he thinks the bill won't have the intended effect on the online poker playing community in the U.S.
"For the most part, I think they can take their bill and shove it where the sun don't shine. An attempt several years ago to discourage credit card companies from funding online gaming accounts may have caused a slight panic, but in the end, companies like Neteller and other third party operators made it easy for customers to fund their online accounts."
He goes on to discuss the role of Neteller in the U.S. banking system and the possible implications of the bill on this firm, which helps millions of poker players around the world deposit and withdraw money from their online poker accounts.
Negreanu thinks that because Neteller is not a U.S. bank, the government can have no jurisdiction over its activities, and thus this bill will not affect players who use the online payment solution to process their transactions.
"The way I understand it, you will still be able to fund your Neteller account from your bank account. Neteller is NOT an online gaming company. Your bank would have virtually no way of tracing what you do with your funds after you send them to Neteller, which appears to be totally legal as I understand it."
Negreanu also believes that smaller U.S. banks will not have the resources to monitor the transactions of its poker playing customers.
He the lets loose on the stupidity of the U.S. government, criticizing them for thinking they "govern the world," for trying to "put a stop to online gambling," and for "costing the American people billions and billions of dollars in tax dollars" that could otherwise be used on education and welfare.
The blog entry ends with a two paragraph rant about Bill Frist (posted below), and follows it up by urging readers to join the Poker Players Alliance.
"The weasel (remember, that's Bill Frist), claims that online gambling is a way in which terrorists go about laundering money. Come off it? How do you say that with a straight face? Weasel, do you have any proof whatsoever that any terrorist group has used online poker accounts to launder money? Any at all?
"The weasel is a self-righteous douche bag who has decided to push upon us his moral agenda by claiming that online poker is "bad." Has he ever played poker? Probably not. Does he even understand that it's different from slot machines? Probably not. Does he even realize that many Americans put food on the table by playing online poker? Probably not, and I doubt he cares. He thinks 'gambling is wrong' so we all have to have the same view of it as he does."
Please see Daniel Negreanu's MySpace blog for the full text.
U.S. Congress passes anti-Internet gambling legislation
PPA Offers Hope, Plan of Attack
Industry Speaks Out After Passage of UIGEA
Official Statements From Your Favorite Poker Rooms
Pros Voice Opinions About UIGEA