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Published:August 5th, 2006 17:29 EST
 Young Player Speaks Against Ban on Online Gambling

Young Player Speaks Against Ban on Online Gambling

By Casey Gale

At only 20 years of age Cody Munger of Easley, SC and student at USC, is making a career out of Internet poker.  The poker player got his start 3 years ago on a small poker site called JetSet.  

JetSet is what Cody calls a $10 starter site. "  However, he has moved to bigger bets and bucks with sites like Poker Stars and Party Poker. Putting in a mere 20 hours a week, he has made over $25,000 in the past year.

Unfortunately, Cody may be playing some of his final hands of online poker. 

In past years, the nations of Antigua and Barbuda protested the United States` attempts to completely ban online poker.  They argued the ban was unfair trade, and the economy of the Caribbean nations relied heavily on Internet gambling.  

On July 11, 2006, the Internet Gambling and Prohibition and Enforcement Act outlawed gambling online and threw a red flag on online money transactions.  

Like Cody, many of the Internet poker players were inspired by Chris Moneymaker, the amateur poker player who made it big in 2003 when he won the World Series of Poker prize of $2.5 million.  

Cody stated, Chris showed the average poker player that he could take a shot at winning the World Series off of 40 bucks. "

Instead of paying the usual $10,000 entry fee for the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the amateur player invested $40 and won his entry fee through smaller satellite " tournaments.  Chris won the World Series by only playing Internet poker, and he had never before played a live game.  

According to Press Release Newswire, online poker has taken in over $260 billion, not including the money generated by online casinos. That is a lot of money to sacrifice if the ban on online games is enforced, especially considering 50 million U.S. citizens are engaging in the game.  

When asked about the new act Cody responded, It is very scary to think that the government will start enforcing the online poker ban.

Online poker playing is a real career for a lot of people.  Players depend on the industry to keep them employed.  The real answer is regulation and taxing, not a complete ban. "

Professional poker player and board member of the Poker Players` Alliance, Howard Lederer, similarly responded, " I think the House of Representatives took a wrong turn today when it is becoming increasingly clear that a sensible approach to regulating, licensing and taxing online gaming seems to be the trend around the world.

Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail in the Senate this year, which could allow Congress to consider the wiser direction proposed by Representative Porter late in this legislative session."

Previously the Wire Wager Act was the only law that the federal government used to punish online gaming sites. The act basically stated that no bets could be placed through wire communication devices, such as the telephone. However, this law was written in 1961.

Arguably, this act is irrelevant since online gaming was nonexistent at the time. The World Trade Organization allowed the U.S government to claims of protecting the morals of its citizens. For many people the idea of morals imposed on citizens by the government is unconstitutional, but others agree that federal law should regulate sites to admit only players over the age of 18.  

The question of reevaluating the act against online poker is pending and a complete resolution is not expected until 2007.


USA TODAY 2006 Online poker games deal illegal hands " Kim Komando. Press Release Newswire. US House of Representatives Passes Internet Gaming Ban Bill " 8/2/2006.