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US Law Responds to Online Poker Popularity

Poker may have been a tremendously popular game in the past, but with the digital age and the spread of online casino sites, online poker has even outdone its former “analogical” version. In a television report from last week, an FBI agent commented on the growing popularity (or as the agent phrased it, the “growing problem”) of online casino gambling. Online poker has put the game of poker “back on top of the world,” the program concluded.

While the television reported described the situation in which online poker is these days, riding a wave of popularity on the one hand and being persecuted legally by US law enforcement officials on the other hand, the FBI agent who was interviewed on the matter represented a strict legal point of view. FBI agent Patrick Kiernan was quoted saying: “Online gambling is a growing problem, I think the FBI estimates that it’s growing at a rate of $10 billion a year.” The representative of the law did point at some important aspects, problems in fact, that are typical of online casino and online poker games. One such problem is that the identity of players is unknown, and their age or financial ability to play and withstand losses is questionable. “Just because you check a box that says you are over 18 and you have a credit card, they are going to take it, because it’s money,” the agent said.

So what is being done by the law agencies to help prevent this problem, several law representatives were asked. Too many agencies asked the question refused to comment. Others admitted their hands are tied in tackling the number one online casino problem, as they view it. There aren’t enough FBI agents to handle the underage online casino problem and the rest of the FBI tasks to successfully do it. But no positive suggestions were offered instead.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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