Several poker pros speak out on PASPA repeal
Except for those living under a rock, everyone by now knows that the US Supreme Court shot down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). While the decision allows states to provide their own legislation on sports gambling but doesn't specifically target online poker, many have already indicated that the move will help build the poker industry. Several poker players have taken to Twitter to voice their opinions on the matter, including (not surprisingly) the Poker Brat himself.
Phil Hellmuth tweeted after the PASPA repeal was announced, "Every Major sport (NBA, NFL, MLB) is behind the legalization of sports betting, and all of them will profit by it. But how can Sports Betting online be legalized w/out online poker being legalized (clearly more skill than sports betting)? The time is NOW to legalize online poker!"
His remarks generated a lot of attention, as usual, with a split reaction between those who agree with him and those who call him out for his previous relationship with Ultimate Bet.
DJ MacKinnon chimed in a few hours after Hellmuth posted his commentary, suggesting that all states attach a poker rider to their sports gambling bills. In his succinct but poignant tweet, MacKinnon said, "Can we attach poker to every new states sports betting bill, thanks."
Jason Somerville, PokerStars ambassador and Twitch celebrity, took a little time out to include his thoughts, tweeting, "great news to wake up to! we'll see just how much this helps US online poker but the financial incentives for states to pass gaming legislation just got a whole lot more attractive. let's go!"
Kevin Iacofano, 2018 WSOP Circuit Main Event winner, is pushing for players and fans to convince lawmakers to combine sports betting and online poker. He tweeted, "If you are a poker player and you haven’t made a call or email to your representative, especially now your state representative, make your voice heard. Tag online poker along with the sports betting wave and this Black Friday to now nightmare will be over."
The rest of 2018 should prove to be interesting for both sports gamblers and online poker fans. More than 20 states are gearing up to launch sports betting options, and it's highly possible that many could also consider reintroducing online poker legislation. Following the successful liquidity sharing between Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, it would be the common sense approach.