Daniel Negreanu Calls for Legal Online Poker Amid Coronavirus Crisis

  • Pro player says legalizing the activity nationwide at this time would be a good move
  • Even if it's a temporary measure, legal online poker would give people something to do
  • Negreanu believes the WSOP may be canceled if the coronavirus spreads even further
laptop screen with the words online poker
Daniel Negreanu says the US government should legalize online poker during this period of coronavirus outbreak to give people something to do. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Calling on the US government

Poker legend Daniel Negreanu has called on the US government to legalize poker nationwide amid the coronavirus outbreak. Many big events on the pro poker tour have been canceled, with concerns that the World Series of Poker (WSOP) will follow suit. 

Speaking on the DAT Poker Podcast, the poker pro said nationwide legalization would have its benefits. He mentioned that while the summer months are usually quieter for online poker sites, the situation could be different this year as people are going to be confined at home. He added,

The government should, even just for this period, let online poker be legal. This would let people have something to do.”

Poker pro expresses coronavirus concerns

During the podcast, Negreanu talked about his concerns about the COVID-19 virus outbreak, maintaining it would not hurt to be prepared. 

The pro poker player is taking precautionary measures by self-isolating along with his wife, Amanda Leatherman, at their home in Las Vegas. He noted that the only proper way to curb the growth of the virus at the moment is to keep social distance. The couple will be self-isolating for as long as it takes.

Casinos across the United States have been putting in place a number of measures to try and combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Implications for the WSOP

Negreanu also believes that, amid mass cancellations of sporting events across the US and games taking place behind closed doors, similar calls could be made for the WSOP. The risk of having big crowds of people in close proximity would be significant. 

He further stated that, with no real vaccine created to date and the virus spreading further, he would not be surprised if this major poker event were canceled.

cancellation of the WSOP could be a catalyst for the renaissance of online poker

According to Negreanu, the cancellation of the WSOP could be a catalyst for the renaissance of online poker in the country. 

Negreanu’s support for US poker legalization

Negreanu has spoken publicly about his belief that online poker should be fully legalized in the United States. He endorsed Andrew Yang in his campaign for presidency as the candidate called for poker to be made legal nationwide. 

Negreanu even held a poker fundraiser in Vegas to fund Yang’s campaign. However, following poor results in primaries, Yang decided to withdraw from the presidential race in February. 

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