CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of I. Nelson Rose

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

The green felt revolution

26 January 2007

In November 1979, the people of Czechoslovakia overthrew the Communist government in a bloodless coup, the "Velvet Revolution." In November 2006, the voters of the United States overthrew the Republican control of Congress. In part this was due to a "Green Felt Revolution." Poker players won the election for the Democrats.

More accurately, the Republicans lost through their heavy-handed prohibition of Internet gambling.

This is not mere hyperbole on my part. Prior to entering law school, I ran political campaigns for a living. I was a published author on psephology, the study of elections.

Of course, we all know the main issues of the 2006 mid-terms were the disastrous civil war in Iraq, President Bush's incompetence, and the widespread corruption and hypocrisy of the conservative Republican majority in Congress.

But even with all that, many races were very close. When there is less than one percent difference between winning and losing, anything that influences even a few hundred votes counts.

Take the defeat of Rep. Jim Leach (R.-Iowa). According to Dow Jones: "Leach narrowly lost his reelection bid Nov. 7 to David Loebsack, a 51%-49% upset considered by many to be election day's biggest shock."

Leach had served in Congress for 30 years. His re-election a 16th time from a safe Republican seat was considered more than a sure thing - he was a power to be reckoned with, for example, as the Chair of the House International Relations Committee.

But Leach had a thing about Internet gambling. The rumors in Washington, DC, are that Leach told then-Majority-Leader Sen. Bill Frist (R.-TN) that he would not support Frist's bid for president unless Frist got an online gaming prohibition bill through Congress.

The first presidential caucuses in 2008 will be in Leach's home state of Iowa. Leach invited Frist to "testify" at a "hearing" on Internet gambling in July 2006 in Iowa, a "hearing" that consisted solely of anti-gambling activists.

Frist rammed a prohibition through Congress by attaching the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act to the port security bill.

But for many people, this was one interference too many in their private lives. The ones most upset were not necessarily liberals, but rather libertarians.

The conservative movement in the U.S. is splintering. Although issues like gay marriage may stir up some of the elderly and religious far right, there are millions of people who really don't care what people do in the privacy of their own homes. In fact, they simply want government to cut taxes, provide essential services and otherwise to stay out of everyone's lives.

Voters were also turned off by the Republican's arrogance of power. Frist would not even allow Democrats to read the final wording of his pet anti-gambling bill.

Through publications like PokerPlayer, Leach became well-known as one of the chief opponents of Internet gaming. Players are becoming organized. Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has more than 75,000 members, all of whom received multiple emails aimed at defeating the "anti's" in Congress.

After the election, the PPA polled 1,033 voters in Leach's District. Among those who knew about the new law, 10% said it made them more likely to vote for Leach; but 15% said it influenced them to support his opponent.

There were 107,097 votes cast. Leach lost by 5,711 votes, 2%. Which means that if only 2,856 voters had switched, Leach would have been reelected.

It would take a detailed study to know the exact impact. Elections are also decided by how many people are motivated enough to register, to get to the polling booth and to mark either candidate's name.

But I am willing to bet that Leach would still be in Congress, if he had not helped foist Prohibition 2.0 on the American people.

2006 - #15 © Copyright 2006, all rights reserved worldwide. GAMBLING AND THE LAW® is a registered trademark of Professor I Nelson Rose, Whittier Law School, Costa Mesa, CA

© Copyright 2006. Professor I Nelson Rose is recognized as one of the world's leading experts on gambling law. His latest books, GAMING LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS and INTERNET GAMING LAW, are available through his website, www.GAMBLINGANDTHELAW.com.

Recent Articles
Best of I. Nelson Rose
I. Nelson Rose

Professor I. Nelson Rose is an internationally known scholar, public speaker and writer and is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on gambling law. A 1979 graduate of Harvard Law School, he is a tenured full Professor at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California, where he teaches one of the first law school classes on gaming law.

Professor Rose is the author of more than 300 books, articles, book chapters columns. He is best known for his internationally syndicated column, "Gambling and the Law ®," and his landmark 1986 book by the same name. His most recent book is a collection of columns and analysis, co-authored with Bob Loeb, on Blackjack and the Law.

A consultant to governments and industry, Professor Rose has testified as an expert witness in administrative, civil and criminal cases in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, and has acted as a consultant to major law firms, international corporations, licensed casinos, players, Indian tribes, and local, state and national governments, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Texas and the federal governments of Canada and the United States.

With the rising interest in gambling throughout the world, Professor Rose has spoken before such diverse groups as the F.B.I., National Conference of State Legislatures, Congress of State Lotteries of Europe, United States Conference of Mayors, and the National Academy of Sciences. He has presented scholarly papers on gambling in Nevada, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, England, Australia, Antigua, Portugal, Italy, Argentina and the Czech Republic.

He is the author of Internet Gaming Law (1st & 2nd editions), Blackjack and the Law and Gaming Law: Cases and Materials.

I. Nelson Rose Websites:

www.gamblingandthelaw.com

Books by I. Nelson Rose:

Gambling and the Law

> More Books By I. Nelson Rose

I. Nelson Rose
Professor I. Nelson Rose is an internationally known scholar, public speaker and writer and is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on gambling law. A 1979 graduate of Harvard Law School, he is a tenured full Professor at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California, where he teaches one of the first law school classes on gaming law.

Professor Rose is the author of more than 300 books, articles, book chapters columns. He is best known for his internationally syndicated column, "Gambling and the Law ®," and his landmark 1986 book by the same name. His most recent book is a collection of columns and analysis, co-authored with Bob Loeb, on Blackjack and the Law.

A consultant to governments and industry, Professor Rose has testified as an expert witness in administrative, civil and criminal cases in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, and has acted as a consultant to major law firms, international corporations, licensed casinos, players, Indian tribes, and local, state and national governments, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Texas and the federal governments of Canada and the United States.

With the rising interest in gambling throughout the world, Professor Rose has spoken before such diverse groups as the F.B.I., National Conference of State Legislatures, Congress of State Lotteries of Europe, United States Conference of Mayors, and the National Academy of Sciences. He has presented scholarly papers on gambling in Nevada, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, England, Australia, Antigua, Portugal, Italy, Argentina and the Czech Republic.

He is the author of Internet Gaming Law (1st & 2nd editions), Blackjack and the Law and Gaming Law: Cases and Materials.

I. Nelson Rose Websites:

www.gamblingandthelaw.com

Books by I. Nelson Rose:

Gambling and the Law

> More Books By I. Nelson Rose