<strong>Jason Somerville -- © <a href=""></a></strong>

Jason Somerville Debates Legal U.S. Online Poker on CNBC “Power Lunch”

Professional poker player, Team PokerStars Pro and marquee Twitch Poker live streamer Jason Somerville appeared on CNBC’s Power Lunch Tuesday to debate Legal U.S. Online Poker with Rev. James B. Butler, Executive Director of the California Coalition Against Gambling Expansion.

The six-minute video clip opens with Butler arguing that gambling results in social and economic consequences that outweigh potential revenue state-wide jurisdictions would receive upon legalizing platforms such as online poker.

"[Consequences to legalized gambling occur] through the social and economic cost of increases in crime, unemployment, welfare, homelessness [and] bankruptcies... just to name a few." - Rev. James B. Butler

[Consequences to legalized gambling occur] through the social and economic cost of increases in crime, unemployment, welfare, homelessness [and] bankruptcies… just to name a few.
– Rev. James B. Butler

Power Lunch anchor Tyler Mathisen countered that the United States is in the minority when it comes to restricting access to real money online poker games before turning to Somerville for a response.

The World Series of Poker bracelet holder pointed out that the Tax & Regulation model currently in use by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has been successful in preventing underage wagering while assisting problem gamblers, as well as ensuring a secure environment for poker players located in that state.

Somerville added that he has personally lost five-figures on unregulated poker sites that offer their real money services to the American market. He then ended with feedback that he has received from tens-of-thousands U.S.-based players who view his RunItUp live streams.

Jason Somerville -- ©

Jason Somerville — ©

“I hear from these Americans who say, ‘Why can’t I play a $1 buy-in poker tournament from the comfort of my home while I’m able to bet on horse races, buy lottery tickets, play Daily Fantasy… why is poker not being treated the same way as those other industries that we’re taxing and regulating?'”

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The Fight for Legalized Online Poker in California continues to heat up on a two-pronged front against opponents such as Butler — who adamantly speak out against any form of online gaming regulation.

Social Media

CNBC "Power Lunch" Hosts: Tyler Mathisen, Brian Sullivan, Melissa LeeFollow on Twitter!

CNBC “Power Lunch” Hosts: Tyler Mathisen, Brian Sullivan, Melissa Lee
Follow on Twitter!

CNBC Power Lunch: @PowerLunch
Melissa Lee: @MelissaLeeCNBC
Brian Sullivan: @SullyCNBC
Tyler Mathisen: @TylerMathisen
Jason Somerville: @JasonSomerville

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About the Author

David Huber

David Huber (known as "dhubermex" online) has been involved in the poker industry for more than a decade. He currently assists several poker and gaming entities as a researcher, writer, and consultant. Former Editor-in-Chief & Head Moderator of online tournament rankings site PocketFives (2006-2011).


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