Isn’t it interesting that once something is in your head, you start to see references everywhere! Well, I don’t play poker, but am a “poker widow,” so I’m now somewhat alert to references to poker.
I, myself, have no particular thoughts about if online poker should be banned or not. However, remember the story about the college student who robbed a bank to pay for his online gambling addiction?
Replying to the NY Times Magazine story this spring about it, a Carl Skutsch of NY makes some good analogies. He says that gambling addiction is a tragedy, but “it’s the addictive personality, not the game, that is the real culprit. If we ban online poker, should we ban online shopping to save shopaholics? Online stock trading to rescue day traders? … For most online-poker players, it’s about entertainment.” Smart words, Mr. Skutsch.
Are there any suggestions for a minimum age, like 18, 19 or 21, as there is for alcohol? (Is there a minimum age in Vegas or Atlantic City?)
How about some mechanisms on websites, like a “make this my last hand” button, like there is on Snood. You can override these, but at least it makes you think about if you should continue playing. Or something that prevents play for 5 minutes? 30 minutes? if you lose more than a pre-set amount.
We have to be more creative than just ban or no ban, right?