PokerStars has issued a statement on its website explaining to players how to cash out their accounts, but Full Tilt Poker has been criticized for failing to refund its players’ balances after the Justice Department crackdown. PokerStars also is offering U.S. players the option of gambling for “play money” on its website.
John Pappas, president of the Poker Players Alliance, called on the Justice Department on Tuesday to ensure that any settlement resulting from the crackdown is “first dedicated to reimbursing players.” He also renewed a request for Full Tilt Poker executives to “ensure the prompt payment of players as their first priority.”
Critics of expanded gambling worry that legalizing online poker will increase gambling addiction and its fallout, such as divorces, bankruptcies and suicides.
“People may not understand how highly addictive it is, when you’re alone in your home,” said Jerry Prosapio, co-founder of Gambling Exposed and a self-confessed gambling addict who quit 28 years ago. “Online gambling is just another way you’re going to create more addiction, and then you’re going to see more crime. It’s just no good for America.”
But online poker supporters say there never has been a better time to legalize the industry, given the job market and the potential for adding a billion-dollar industry to the flagging economy.
“We’re talking about jobs, tax revenue,” Mr. Fahrenkopf said. “It’s sort of a no-brainer.”
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Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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