Wants Legalization on Federal Level
United States presidential candidate Andrew Yang voiced his support for online poker on Saturday, tweeting that it should be legalized on the federal level. In his tweet, Yang cited his desire to get players off offshore sites and to bring revenue back to the U.S.
The four states Yang referred to are New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, and most likely Pennsylvania, though no online poker rooms have launched in Pennsylvania yet. West Virginia also legalized online poker this spring, but has yet to get anything up and running.
Yang had not previously discussed online poker on the campaign trail. It has not been a subject of discussion by any of the other candidates.
Tweet Caught Poker Players’ Attention
The poker world has largely responded positively to Yang’s surprise commentary. Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu tweeted:
Ummm YES!!!! Poker players who want the freedom to play poker from home, this just might be your guy.”
He followed that up with the Yang campaign hashtag “#YangGang2020”.
Popular poker vlogger Joey Ingram invited Andrew Yang to appear on his show, tweeting, in part, “The situation for American players is in need of help. Players are being taken advantage of w/ few safeguards in place.”
Yang responded to Ingram, saying that he would “love to sit down” and chat.
Poker pro Phil Galfond, who founded the online poker site RunItOnce.eu, expanded upon Yang’s statement, tweeting, “What most outside of poker don’t realize is that MANY sites still operate in the U. S. but, because it is outlawed, the ones remaining are those who ignore all regulations including responsible gaming, security, anti-money laundering, etc. Legal poker makes Americans safer!”
the ones remaining are those who ignore all regulations including responsible gaming, security, anti-money laundering, etc
Though many poker players might have become Yang voters after his tweet, not all are ready to jump onboard. For example, Ben Wilinofsky tweeted, “….if you weren’t YangGang before the poker tweet, and you are after the poker tweet, you’re not significantly different than rich people who just vote for whoever will give them the lowest taxes.”
Yang Faces Uphill Battle for Nomination
Andrew Yang is a long shot candidate in the crowded race to be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee. He is currently polling in the mid-to-low single-digits, averaging 2.5 percent, according to RealClearPolitics.com.
Central to Yang’s platform is Universal Basic Income (UBI). His core policy is called the “Freedom Dividend” that would give every U.S. citizen who is at least 18 years old $1,000 per month.
In addition to other benefits, Yang believes that UBI would help compensate for job losses that have resulted from improved automation and artificial intelligence.
He believes that automation-related job losses are the primary reason that Donald Trump was elected President of United States, as frustrated workers gravitated toward the reality-show star and his promise to bring back manufacturing jobs.