At The Domestic Level, The Discussion Remains
In Spain, the battle over online poker is already won, the industry is already legal, but the victory has been Pyrrhic and does not even ensure our survival.
At first, there was doubt whether the poker industry was bleeding because of regulation or lack of attractiveness. Now we know that the fault is regulation, as online gambling in Spain grows like foam and poker is the only one that continues to use negatives to express its percentage growth.
Trying to sell to the DGOJ the need for specific rules for poker based on a perception of the skill level required to play is like preaching to the stones. Our leaders respond to a set of potential voters who mostly have a negative outlook on the game, and do not see the need to worry about the individual vicissitudes of which is increasingly a smaller part of the sector.
Our battlefield must be the battlefield. The real sign of poker’s identity over other casino games is that we do not play against the bank and we need people to play against. This puts us on a par with other games such as bingo, and if so, against that we can and should play the skill card, but the key to survival is the influx of players.
The DGOJ has shown signs of understanding this distinction, and from its offices have come to the media statements in favor of international liquidity. There is a lack of palpable demonstrations that are not words facing the gallery, such as legal reforms in France, so it is best to keep insisting, yes, but with the right arguments.
For me, the social aspect is much more important, the essential fact that poker is played between and against people.
It is a basic argument that is applicable to each and every one of the burning discussions in the sector. In countries where online gambling is prohibited, it reinforces the need for a global tool such as the Internet versus the limitations of a conventional casino. In regulated countries, it is possible to identify the obstacles that impede the proper development of the sector. In the treatment of the rooms to its customers helps to remember that traffic is the one that converts deposits into rake, in their income, in addition to a need that have the same extent new players and professionals. A newcomer to the room needs the same diversity of tables and levels as a more dedicated player. Live poker grows and online poker falls because the social factor takes more care and is more present in one than in another.
Insisting on the need for arcane knowledge to play or in the existence of players with unbeatable levels of play can become negative for our interests. When facing a legal decision or a change in a regulation, it may seem that a defense of a predatory group is required against which all other users can only play the role of ATM. For a newcomer, who has found the rules of the game attractive and enjoyed the development of his first hands, the distinction that is intended to be made between recreational players and the rest, and the dedication and work that it takes to get rid of, can be enormously disheartening.
In short, anyone with two fingers in front recognizes that playing poker well requires knowledge and practice. It is lawful and advisable to defend this premise to whoever seeks to deny it for whatever reason. But is it the hallmark of poker? I do not think so.
Antrodax is a poker journalist.