By now the world knows that Coronavirus outbreak has been declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global pandemic, with more than 353k positive cases and more than 15,000 deaths, COVID-19 has impacted the global economy. Markets have stumbled, halted business, and forced cancellations of several events around the world.
Just as the world reacts to the spread of the novel coronavirus and the international live poker circuit continues to see more and more tournament series being cancelled, GGPoker pro Daniel Negreanu seeks that the US government shall consider nationwide legalization of online poker.
Last week, in the podcast with co-hots Terrence Chan, Negreanu said that he asked the US governement to consider legalizing online poker throughout the coronavirus pandemic. He said that if people are quarantining for weeks, legalizing online poker would give them something to do. “People actually go out and do things. But this summer is probably a little bit different. People are going to be home.” The live poker tournaments tends to attract huge number of poker players from around the world and keeping away these enthusiasts from venturing out to casinos where the virus could be easily spread, legalizing online poker would be the best way out.
The six-time WSOP bracelet winner also posted in his Twitter handle saying, “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.” Brian Koppelman, co-writer of the cult classic poker movie ‘Rounders’, also tweeted last week, “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!”
The former PokerStars team pro is currently quarantining with his wife, former PokerNews host Amanda Leatherman, to lower the chances of COVID-19 infection. Negreanu believes that now the right time to legalize online poker, even if it is just for trial and run. He also thinks the US government should now start working on the same, so players can freely play online without worrying about legal consequences.
Negreanu also touched on the subject of a probable cancellation of this year’s the World Series of Poker (WSOP) with the virus getting more and more out of hand as time progresses. “For most [poker] sites, summer is not the most lucrative time of the year,” Negreanu commented. “But every single operator is going to look at this. You have a whole bunch of people at home with nothing to do. Globally, this would be a great time to run online poker series.”
His co-speaker Chan concluded that we might see a sort of “online poker renaissance” if the COVID-19 disease affects the big tournaments such as the WSOP. Although, Negreanu imagines that most poker sites, “new series running on GGPoker, partypoker, and PokerStars. Everyone’s going to tackle this.”
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