Negreanu, Koppelman call for legal online poker during Coronavirus pandemicMarch 12, 2020 6:52 pm
As the Coronavirus continues to cancel almost everything inside and outside the world of poker, a few notables from the poker world are calling for the legalization of online poker during the pandemic.
Poker pro Daniel Negreanu and Brian Koppelman, co-writer of the cult classic poker movie Rounders have both floated the idea this week.
Negreanu was on a poker podcast earlier this week and asked the US government to consider legalizing online poker throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. Under Negreanu’s reasoning, if people are going to be self-isolating themselves or quarantining for weeks at a time, legalizing online poker would give them something to do.
It would also keep them from venturing out to casinos where the virus could easily be spread among players sharing cards and chips in tight quarters.
Negreanu took his concerns for anyone playing in casinos by tweeting out, “All poker operators: stop. Suspend all tournaments and cash games now. There isn’t a more infectious environment imaginable than a poker table. Shut it all down.”
Koppelman joined Negreanu’s call for the legalization of online poker during the pandemic. Earlier this week Koppelman tweeted out “You know how there are compassionate use medicines? Well, the senate should allow compassionate use online poker right now. Let people play safely at home!”
Given the Coronavirus is inflicting on the American and world economy and health care systems, it’s doubtful the US government will give online poker even a second thought right now. However, why not once the pandemic is over?
Revenue losses for brick and mortar poker rooms will be calculated and it will be interesting to see if any of them lobby or push for state-regulated or even federally-regulated legal online poker which could have helped negate losses during the outbreak.