26 April, 2019
Republicans Condemn Online Gambling
In what can only be seen as the ultimate flip-flop, the Republicans have decided to put the language back in their platform that condemns online gambling. The political party had decided last week to take online gambling language out of their platform and this week have decided to put it back in.
Originally the language was taken out when they realized how many members of their political party were poker players and online gambling proponents. However, in an attempt to placate the social conservatives, the language has been put back in. The Poker Players Alliance had asked them to remove it and they had – only to go back on their word and add it back in.
The text reads: “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.”
The way the language is worded however, it makes online gambling illegal in every sense of the word. They want to make sports betting, horse racing, poker playing, online pokies etc. – all online gambling illegal. This goes against the fundamentals of the Republican party where they say that less government is better because they don’t want to trample on the rights of the people.
However, that is exactly what they are doing with the new language. Congress has never banned online gambling, even though it banned the processing of payments. This statement from the Republicans wants to ban it all. It would seem that the PPA and other online gambling groups may want to rethink their party affiliation – especially with Joe Biden talking about legalizing and regulating online gambling instead.
After pressure from their constituents and the Poker Player’s Alliance, the Republican Party has removed language that states that online gambling is illegal. The party was not aware of how many online gambling advocates were part of their party – and have bowed to public pressure.
The party had put in anti online gambling jargon in the past two party platforms, and it was supposed to be in this years’ as well. However, with the Republican National Committee meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota looming next week, they decided to remove it. Many thought it had to do with the support shown the Republican party by such heavyweights as Senator Alfonse D’Amato – who is also the chairman of the PPA.
They were aware that they would alienate many of their constituents by leaving in the online gambling message, and know that by removing it they will pull in even more than they had before. The PPA was pleased with the victory as they have lobbied hard to get online gambling legal.
The PPA is more than a million members strong, and they are not shy about contributing to those politicians who support their message. They have given more than $1.2 million during the first half of the year on lobbying, and more than $350,000 of that went directly to candidates who were pro online gambling.
They know that although it is a victory, it is a small one. They have to keep pushing to make online gambling the forefront of legislation and to have it regulated and legalized. They also know that one of the main ways to do that is to show their support for a politician who supports them.