03Sep
Andy Bloch Champions Internet Freedom

The thing about people’s opinions is that they will always, without fail, vary. Even things like World Peace can be debatable if you can find the right type of argumentative people. As such, it’s impossible for the poker industry to have a united stand on the legal issues surrounding gambling. On one hand, people think it wise to regulate it strictly, and on the other hand, there are people who think that the government should respect Internet Freedom. Andy Bloch, in the Netroots Nation 2010 Conference, has championed the latter, citing several reasons for his cause.

 

Internet Freedom

The Netroots Nation 2010 Conference was held in Las Vegas with the aim of giving people a venue to voice their thoughts on America’s various Freedom Issues. One of these issues is the problem of Internet Freedom. It’s a timely and real concern that people today have to face, especially with the growing integration of our society into the internet. The online community is said to be a free global community where people have sovereignty over themselves.

However, the very nature of the internet makes it prone to both the best and the worst in people. On one hand, it can be a haven where people can commune to create great things, and on the other hand, it can be the venue of various crimes and scams. It is because of the latter that the government has thought to curtail people’s freedom on the internet and place various restrictions. As Andy Bloch said in his speech, what is illegal in the real world should be illegal in the online world as well. However, it can’t be avoided that certain issues will fall into the grey areas, and gambling happens to be one of them.

According to Bloch, gambling (in one form or another) is legal in 48 out of 50 states in America. However, online gambling is being singled out by the government, and therein lies the injustice. He then went on to state several benefits of online gambling and praise the online community for its accomplishments. Also, Bloch questioned why the government is forgoing a viable source of billions of dollars in revenue, and for such impractical reasons.

 

A Touching Story

Probably the highlight of Bloch’s speech, however, was his story about an online sit and go wherein he played with a guy who had a sight disability and thus cannot travel but wants badly to play poker. Online poker gave this guy the avenue to fulfill his wants. Bloch and the guy he mentioned also went on to discuss another mutual acquaintance who happens to be deaf and was also playing online poker. Bloch then said, “Interactions like these are why protecting internet freedom is important, even when it is a freedom you might not take advantage of yourself or even understand.”

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