Who’s In Bed With Whom on the Online Gaming Issue?

by Lou on October 5, 2009

Speaking at the recent International Masters of Gaming Law conference in Amsterdam, attorney Tony Cabot (pictured left) believes that PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker—sites attracting most of the US online poker players nowadays—will be major players in keeping Frank’s legislation from passing.

Cabot, who is based in Las Vegas, believes that because Poker Stars and Full Tilt currently accept US players, they would be low on the list of sites to receive licenses in a post-UIGEA environment. To prevent that from happening, Cabot opined that the sites would work to ensure the defeat of Frank’s legislation.

Could this be true? Aren’t Poker Stars and Full Tilt the major sources of financial support for the Poker Player’s Alliance—the major lobbying effort to repeal UIGEA? Could they be working both sides of the street, and if so, why?

I don’t know the answers, and I don’t have a clue why they might do this. So if you do … lemme know.

Regardless of this speculation, not all the stars are aligned in favor of Frank’s legislation, because some Las Vegas land based casino owners are against Internet gambling, although others support it. Reports say that Steve Wynn has reportedly hired lobbyists to fight against the Frank Bill, while just down the Strip, Harrah’s is pushing for Internet gambling regulation.

Cabot’s opinion isn’t universally shared either. Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr believes Frank’s Bill—now with 60 co-sponsors—is gaining traction in Washington. Barr believes the revenue from taxed and regulated online gaming is too great for lawmakers to ignore.

Nothing is certain about any of this except that politics does make for strange bedfellows.


Haley October 5, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Then again, Barney Frank's press conference at the WSOP was held in Full Tilt's hospitality suite, and there significant talks going on pre-conference between Frank and a couple of Tllt notables. I was there and saw that.

rakeback October 12, 2009 at 7:08 pm

I was suspicious from the beginning about why Poker Stars or Full Tilt would push for this legislation. You could argue that the bill bring an influx of customers to the table, but this would also mean they would lose considerable profit for having to pay taxes. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

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