On Wednesday, November 14, 2007, the US House Judiciary Committee
held hearings regarding the legality of online poker, focusing specifically on
the "Unlawful Internet Gaming and Enforcement Act" (UIGEA). We would expect that
impassioned testimony from professional poker player Annie Duke and others would
leave online-poker fans with a feeling of optimism. But surprisingly, the most
significant statement uttered during the hearings was given by the other side,
and it happened quickly and without fanfare. If you blinked, you missed it. The
statement is monumental! Of course, it received no coverage in the mainstream
The government supplied some witnesses to speak in favor of the current state of
affairs and the UIGEA. One such witness was the Honorable Catherine Hanaway, who
is the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri. She spoke against the
prospect of amending any of the current gaming law, ridiculous and contradictory
though that law may be.
At one point, she was questioned by Congressman Bobby Scott (D-Va.), who asked
her point blank if playing online poker, under the current laws of the USA, was
illegal, yes or no. Her answer, loud and clear, was NO! Apparently, not many
people heard her answer. At least, her answer did not sink in with mainstream
news organizations. But I heard it. And the Poker Players Alliance heard it,
too. In a PPA press release, they state: "One key outcome of the hearing was the
acknowledgment by the Department of Justice witness, the Honorable Catherine
Hanaway, that it is not illegal for an individual to place a wager on the
Internet. This confirmation ... dispels a common misconception that an Internet
poker player may be committing a crime by playing poker online."
Did you hear that? Do you realize the significance of this admission? This is
Virtually everyone -- politicians, legal analysts, news reporters and lowly
poker players from all walks of life -- believes that playing poker on the
Internet is illegal in the United States. Wrong! It is not illegal. Even the
ill-conceived and convoluted UIGEA does not make online poker illegal. (The law
only makes the transference of funds illegal, maybe.) Virtually everyone is
incorrect in believing that Internet poker is illegal. I restate: The act of
playing poker online is NOT illegal. And now, for the first time, we have the US
Government stating exactly that. Wouldn't you think this declaration would be
If you play poker online -- regardless of how you play, whether you are good or
bad, whether you win or lose, whether you play tight-aggressive or bluff every
hand, whether you play low-stakes limit or high-stakes no-limit, whether you
play fairly or attempt to cheat -- this is a welcome admission for you. These
words from a US Department of Justice witness are something we should all
This is earthshaking news. It should be shouted from rooftops far and wide. CNN,
FoxNews and others news-gathering organizations should headline their newscasts
with this truth-blazing revelation. But no. Not a whisper from anywhere. Well,
I'm here to tell you! The government admitted it! Playing poker on the Internet
is NOT illegal in the United States of America! Learn it. Revel in it. Love it!
Timmor L. White is the founder and president of Online
Poker Systems and the OPS Group. With a background in
Internet technology, he is active in the study and
reporting of online-poker playing strategies. If you
wish to explore a specific way to cheat when playing
online, click here:
Online Poker Cheat.
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