As the November elections loom, it seems as though one of online poker’s biggest opponents may have talked his way out of a job. Alabama Republican Spence Bachus, who has raised eyebrows throughout the House of Representatives with his feeble arguments and disregard for facts, may lose his seat as the senior Republican on the Financial Services Committee.
If deposed, Bachus’ departure could signal an imminent victory for the online poker camp. Several of his fellow conservatives have been repeatedly frustrated by the senior Senator’s lack of gumption, which has been showcased by his unwillingness to challenge the Democrats on key issues in financial reform brought before the Financial Services Committee.
“Spencer is aware that he’s not in a strong position because he’s not a strong leader,” says one longstanding critic and GOP committee member.
Bachus has made an enemy of the poker poker public in several ways. Foremost among these has been his blatant and ignorant representation of academic studies on internet gaming. One of his biggest gaffs came when he quoted a study performed by McGill University which, Bachas claimed, found that one-third of college students who participated in online gaming attempted suicide. Upon hearing about the wrongful and inaccurate use of his study, Dr. Jeffery Derevensky of McGill penned a set of scathing letters, entreating Congress to disregard the Alabaman’s erroneous interpretation of his data.
As BigGoverment.com’s Rich Munny recently stated, “Those who oppose online poker rights keep Republicans off-message. After all, it is hard to make an argument that we need the government to protect us from ourselves, then subsequently argue that Americans ought to be trusted with credit cards, mortgages, guns, cigarettes, snack food, soft drinks, and other freedoms that are under attack from the left.”
And while the list of opposing politicians is waning, the roster of poker supporters continues to grow. Among those who have come out in support of the cause are former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Texas Representative Ron Paul, and former Senator (and current chairman of the Poker Players Alliance) Alphonse D’Amato. These names, in fact, are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. As November nears, more and more conservatives are coming out in support of online poker.
Perhaps the most discussed potential replacements for Bachus is Texas’ Jeb Hensarling, who has been “encouraged to run by a number of members on the committee. But he wants to get through Election Day first. After that, he will make a strong push.”
One way or the other, it appears as though the GOP’s resistance to online poker is about to lose a key member. It’s great news for poker players, and could signal a return to American soil by companies such as PartyGaming, who played a huge part in the legendary Poker Boom. Imagine how much business (and taxes for the government) that US-based gaming companies could provide.