Venerable (I sort of hate that word, but I don’t know how else to describe him) Harvard Professot Charlie Nesson gave an excellent talk on poker and democracy. I’m sure this will be one of those events which will be part of the many excellent talks we have been seeing in the last few days, particularly because Professor Nesson is here after an operation, so we had to go to his hotel and had a session in a 5 star hotel lounge talkinga bout the online poker ban and the law.

Professor Nesson has a theory that poker is a game that teaches about life, about thinking for oneself, independent thought and strategic thinking on specific situations. It is relevant for the law because it is not about lying, but the minor deception involved in bluffing is all about a recognised excercise of risk. The ban on poker is tantamount to an attack on democracy (he did not put it in those terms, but it was implied on the discourse).

Some interesting discussion followed, talking about the benefit of the metaphor, about the specific developments on the American online gambling ban, and about regulation of such practices.

1 Comment


free poker online · January 3, 2008 at 5:43 am

I agree with the legislation which aims to ban credit cards as a payment method for online gambling of any sort… and i think it should be enforced worldwide – not just in America. In fact, gambling with a credit card should be banned full stop. Not just on the internet. It’s a no brainer when you consider you are placing backing the outcome of an uncertain event with somebody else’s money. Chance and credit do not mix well in my opinion, and continuing to allow it would only contribute further in negatively affecting the high levels of personal debt many citizens today find themselves in. I do however, think that the prohibition won't work; or at least it won’t be received well amongst gamblers – I mean what’s the point in banning a credit card payment made on an online poker game, for example, but continuing to allow online sports betting? Slightly hypocritical, no? I mean how can you allow someone to participate [with or without a credit card] in online horse racing betting, but not put any money on a hand of texas hold’em poker? both activities involve a large degree of chance, and neither are guaranteed to yield financial return.What really infuriates me however, is that the minority of irresponsible gamblers [those paying with someone elses money!] have now ruined the fun of online betting for everyone else – those like me who pay with money they actually have in their bank!! At least for the Americans there is always the free online poker games!

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