An interesting article at The Washington Times offering proper perspective on the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which prohibits credit-processing companies from transferring payments related to “unlawful Internet gambling,” which the act vaguely defines as “any game subject to chance.” Along with pointing to the fact that poker isn’t a “game subject to chance,” or even one of luck, there’s this stereotype-shattering information:
Far from being an inherently wasteful activity that inevitably leads to ruin, poker – including online poker – enables skilled players to earn money. More than four years after UIGEA’s enactment, U.S. laws regarding online poker remain vague, and responsible online poker players are left facing legal uncertainty.
When most people think of a professional poker player, they envision either a deadbeat dad with a drained bank account or an underage college student wasting hours of study time while racking up thousands of dollars in credit card bills. Yet these stereotypes are not representative of the more than 40,000 (according to the Poker Players Alliance) professional and semiprofessional poker players who earn a living or supplement their income through honest and highly skilled competitive online play.
For many middle-income people, online poker is a reliable way to supplement their incomes without having to leave home. For others, it is the only way they can cover their costs of living.