Poker protest

Part of Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick’s proposed casino bill makes betting online a crime. Some thing that’s hypocritical, others that it’s just a blatant attempt to stifle potential competition. In any event, now that we’ve got some Harvard Law students on the case, it’s getting interesting. From the Boston Herald:

A card-playing Harvard Law professor and his poker-crazy students will stage a protest today outside the State House rallying against Gov. Deval Patrick’s casino plan.

But while most opponents, ranging from church leaders to social activists, will be warning of the perils of expanded gambling, the Harvard group will be arguing there is not nearly enough.

In particular, the newly formed Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society is targeting a provision in the governor’s bill that Massachusetts residents caught gambling online would face up to two years in jail and a fine of as much as $25,000.

Harvard Law School professor Charles Nesson, an avid player who formed the Harvard poker society, plans to testify today at a State House hearing on Patrick’s casino bill. The Harvard group contends that as many as 400,000 Massachusetts residents play poker online.

Poker’s hot at Harvard –

I’m the first to say that UIGEA and the proposed bill are unjust, but they are pretty low on my scale of current global injustices. Suffice it to say that the plight of online poker players doesn’t keep me up at nights. On the other hand, reversing UIGEA is something that a small group of interested parties could actually accomplish, whereas there are no quick fixes to the big problems facing the world today. So maybe it’s a good thing for people to devote some energy to.

I don’t think I’m being sarcastic here, but I’m not completely sure.

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