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States’ rights a key issue

On the surface, U.S. Rep. Joe Barton’s plans to propose legislation that would legalize online poker appears to be another attempt by the Ennis native to join the ranks of big business via legislation.

Tre Bischof

Many of us remember last year’s action following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Personally, I wouldn’t issue a public apology to BP for the government “shake down” that was happening in the midst of the oil spill last year, but his points were valid. Our government was reacting prior to fully investigating the facts.

This time, Barton’s seeking the legalization of a $6 billion industry that recently got nailed by our government with asset seizures and laws aimed at stopping this illegal business, as mandated by the feds.

This plan by Barton once again addresses the long-standing topic of states’ rights in our country. Lest we forget, our country was set up as a nation of states, hence the name the United States of America. This is why we have an electoral college, two senators and varying numbers of congressmen. States have different laws. There are different cultures, economics, religions and political views in each state.

Unfortunately, we forget that. In fact, I’m not even sure we’re teaching the original setup of our nation in today’s civics classes.

Barton’s proposed legislation would allow states to decide if they will allow their residents to play poker online.

In other words, the people elected by the voters of each state could decide if they want to allow online poker. Simple enough.

Whether you agree with playing poker online or not, this piece of legislation would not by itself change anything. States would still have the right to decide if they want to legalize that business. This is not something our federal government should be regulating.

I don’t even play poker. It’s not because I have a religious objection. I have a personal, financial objection — two little girls and another one on the way.

Barton’s model of states rights on this issue should be expanded to many different areas.

The less control the federal government has, the greater ability our country will have to move forward.

With big brother telling us what we can do and cannot do, our ability to think on our own, to decide what we want and do not want is dulled. It’s time to start thinking outside the box.

Trusting the government to do what’s best for us is a recipe we’ve been following for years, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Tre Bischof is publisher of the Ennis Daily News. He can be reached by sending e-mail to tre@ennisdailynews.com.

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Posted by on Jun 25 2011. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

7 Comments for “States’ rights a key issue”

  1. Mark

    Good article Tre. Even if you hate poker, you still should support Joe Barton’s bill. It is immoral to tell other people what they should do with their money. On top of that, poker is already operating as it is in a black market. Tax revenue that should be collected in the US isn’t collected. The thousands of employees who work for poker sites live in places like Ireland. These well paying jobs should be in the US. The 10 million people who play poker won’t live in fear of the government seizing their money or sites stealing from them without legal recourse, as is the case now. Minors and problem gamblers are already gambling on the internet. Regulation will put limits on them through debit cards and require a social security number which will curb minors from playing.

  2. Poker player

    Then why is Texas not Going after the millions of dollars That Online Sites cheated their college Students out of .I dont see you addressing collusion you just think its ok to rob college kids. Just Check out Ultimate Bet and you might write a different story.Joe Barton just got Paid. Tre do you think Joe woke up one Morning and said I want a Poker Game in all Star Bucks and College Dorms.This will cost the US a hundred thousand jobs from Brick and Mortar Casinos. Why dont Joe Find something Better to do like Create some Jobs.
    Make Betting on Sports Legal on Line something that can be Regulated. Tre you and I can talk on the Phone and Cheat anybody on Line and if you think there is Soft Ware to Catch this? Then you need Help. Say it aint so JOE

  3. J Sullivan

    Unfortunately, Mr. Bischof, I’m not sure if you arefully informed about the history behind this bill. This really has nothing to do with states rights. Even if a specific state decided at this moment that they wish to have online gaming (DC and Nevada recently have), they can’t do a thing about it.

    This bill’s purpose is to try to limit the legislated morality from 2006 known as the UIGEA. You say “This is not something our federal government should be regulating.”, but it already did, and Barton’s bill is intended to at least reverse SOME of that act. American financial institutions can not let funds go to a gambling site because of the regulations in the UIGEA. That bill put all the responsibility on the US Banking industry, and they dealt with this regulation the same that they deal with any other. This is why the poker sites got ‘busted’, because in order to keep their share of the US market, they created fake companies selling fictitious items to process these transactions.

    And to the “poker player” who commented earlier. UB is WHY we need regulation. If you don’t get that, then you really don’t understand at all. Also, This will not cost the brick and mortar casinos ANY jobs, are you insane? It will CREATE jobs. The industry exists now, and the casinos are doing just fine. It isn’t like the B&Ms will fire all their employees, because there are too many people that don’t want to gamble online. Regarding collusion, that is something that IS checked into by the industry regularly. The current companies have security teams checking into allegations all the time. You are completely misinformed if you don’t believe that.

  4. Poker Player

    I know this Poker Stars used unlimited Bots to start their web site see article in the New york times call( Bots invade Online Gaming )and Full Tilt spent the Players money. Also UB owners Cheated their tournaments, None of the Top Three have done the right thing.These poor College students have been Cheated out of Millions in Govenment back Student Loans.I have seen Cards face up on screeens with my own Eyes and six Players Cheating in one room. Say it aint so Joe. Washington DC has out sourced thir Software to Greece and California is outsourceing to Playtech this is not creating jobs. One percent win at Poker over time at best in a ten handed game you are lucky if two players can win over eight ours and sometimes NO Winners.

    • J Sullivan

      Again, “Poker Player”, you are incorrect in your statements because you are twisting half of the words. Pokerstars DISCOVERED the bots, not DEPLOYED them.

      You are simply making up statements to support your argument. The only cards you have seen face up are ones that you were INTENDED TO SEE! Unless you’re saying you worked for UB and were part of that scandal yourself??? You spot six players ‘cheating’ in one room? Doubtful. But even if you did, a report to the support site always gets an investigation.

      You claim one percent win over time? No, There can’t be that many bad players out there, I’m sorry. Game Theory shows that poker is a “zero-sum” game. When one loses their money, it goes to another person. This cannot equate to 1% unless there are 99% completely unskilled players out there and they all lose their money to the one percent. “Rake” takes some for the house, but not enough to make 99% of players losers.

      Playtech has a deal with the COPA, which represents the Native American casinos, not the state. Big Difference. The Morongo are not a major player, and will not be.

      I am sorry you feel the need to misinform, but my guess is that it comes from a need to justify your losses at a skill based game?

  5. Guys, you are missing the point. Of course gambling, whether online or in person, is stacked so the house can make money. If it weren’t there would be no incentive to have a gaming industry. And, yes, people cheat at cards and other gaming activities when they get the chance.

    The point is the federal government should not be mandating that private individuals cannot participate in online, or any other gaming, activity. Individuals should control whether or not they participate. The argument that kids blow their government funded education loans online falls on deaf ears here. They need to stop gambling with money they don’t have. I don’t need to be told I can’t gamble simply because someone else is not smart enough to stay away from it when he/she doesn’t have the money. I would love to play some blackjack right now, but the fact of the matter is I have a business and a family that needs my money more than I need to entertain myself and so I stay away from it. If it is federal money you claim is getting lost by these people, well……..the federal government shouldn’t be in the business of loaning money any more than it should be in the business of mandating whether or not one can gamble. Barton’s bill is simply trying to undo an un-Constitutional burden the federal government placed on private industries and individuals several years ago.

    If you want to make the case states need to pass laws prohibiting gambling, I will still oppose it because Austin has enough problems of its own by unecessarily meddling in the business of private enterprise and individuals, but the state level is where the issue should be addressed, if at all.

  6. reply to Mr Williamson

    Quote from Mr WIlliamson: “Barton’s bill is simply trying to undo an un-Constitutional burden the federal government placed on private industries and individuals several years ago.”

    thank you. Somebody gets it.

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