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US Government Admits Online Poker Is Not Illegal
by Timmor L. White

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 press.

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 huge!

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 newsworthy?

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 celebrate. Finally!

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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