Americans for Tax Reform Supports Online Poker

Published Thursday, April 30, 2009 -

The state of Minnesota's Department of Public Safety has served written notice to 11 major internet service providers calling for blocking access to 200 internet gambling websites. Support of the internet gambling industry came quickly and in no uncertain terms by the Americans for Tax Reform organization.

Based in Washington, D.C., headed by Grover Norquist, the group has been heavily involved in the battle for control of the seized internet gambling and online poker domain names in Kentucky.

Founded in 1985 by Grover Norquist, the organization advocates "a system in which taxes are simpler, fairer, flatter, more visible, and lower than they are today. The government's power to control one's life derives from its power to tax. We believe that power should be minimized." "One of the issues that the ATR believes in is opposing regulations for online poker players. We work with members of Congress to encourage them keep their hands off the internet."

Norquist said recently, that the actions by the Department of Public Safety, "Parallel a growing nationwide trend for control of the internet. One of the reasons that the web is beneficial is that it allows competition. The best way to keep taxes low is to allow people to be able to access other jurisdictions." If successful, 200 websites would be completely inaccessible by Minnesota residents. The affected ISPs, which have up to three weeks to respond, include AT&T, Charter, Comcast, and Qwest.

Poker players in Minnesota may be left with legal card rooms at racetracks and the state's tribal casinos as the only options if the action to block 200 websites is successful. "You can't always pick up and move, but on the internet, you can buy things in other states and other countries. That's one of the reasons why the internet is so helpful. It's none of the government's business what you do online. We just went through this in Kentucky." Mr. Norquist concluded.

Rich Muny, the Poker Players Alliance's State Director for Kentucky and member of the organization's Board of Directors, was quoted as saying, "Poker players throughout America should be very concerned, as should internet freedom lovers regardless of where they stand on gambling. Once we establish a process of government regulating the internet, where does it stop?"

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