Republicans Flip-Flop on Internet Gambling Issue

by Lou on August 27, 2008

It looks like I spoke too soon. Shortly after my post alerting you about the Republican Party’s decision to cease its opposition to online gaming, they adopted language Tuesday opposing Internet gambling—a provision that was stripped from the initial draft as part of an effort to broaden the party’s appeal.
“Internet gambling represents the most invasive and addictive form of gambling in our history,” said Kendal Unrah of Colorado, who sponsored the amendment.

Dropping the opposition to gambling was a temporary triumph for the Poker Players Alliance, a million-member group that spent $1.2 million lobbying this during the first half of 2008.
“This is a small victory in our determined effort to educate both sides of the aisle that there is a true constituency in America that values its Internet freedoms,” John Pappas, the alliance’s executive director, said of the draft platform.

Republican platforms of 2000 and 2004 both stated: “Millions of Americans suffer from problem or pathological gambling that can destroy families. We support legislation prohibiting gambling over the Internet or in student athletics by student athletes who are participating in competitive sports.”

Thousands of poker players filed Internet comments urging Republicans to drop their opposition to online gambling.
The PPA contends that the Internet gambling industry, which is estimated at $15 billion a year, with perhaps one third attributed to poker, should be regulated in the United States as it is in other countries.
Barring another reversal, Republican opposition will remain a plank in the party’s platform.

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