In America, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has released a statement regarding Sunday’s report by 60 Minutes on the cheating scandal that rocked online casinos UltimateBet.com and AbsolutePoker.com earlier this year.
The Washington, DC-based poker advocacy group stated that the scandal only underscored the need for licensing and regulation of US online poker in order to help protect consumers.
Entitled How Online Gamblers Unmasked Cheaters, the programme by the long-running CBS investigative television news programme in collaboration with The Washington Post newspaper featured interviews with poker players Todd Witteles and Michael Josem among others.
“Regulation of Internet poker does not equal an expansion of gambling in this country,” said Alfonse D’Amato, Chairman for the PPA.
“Like it or not, the phenomenon of Internet poker cannot be wished away. The American market has spoken. There is strong demand for Internet poker and no reasonable government can or should stand in the way of adults competing in games of skill on the Internet.
“To the contrary, the Government should step up and exercise regulatory oversight on this multi-billion dollar interstate commerce and collect the revenue, especially during this country’s economic crisis.
“The Federal Government cannot continue to abdicate this basic responsibility to the millions of its citizens who choose to play poker on the Internet. The attempt to enforce an outright prohibition of online poker is deeply flawed and unworkable and it invades upon the personal freedoms of law-abiding adults who wish to engage in a game of skill. And as 60 Minutes and the Washington Post stories reported, it also exposes American consumers to the rare, unscrupulous bad apple operator who will take advantage of the lack of a US regulated marketplace.”