March 24, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — In his efforts to overturn a two-hundred-year-old law that prohibits poker (as well as all other card and dice games), South Carolina state senator Glenn McConnell has let it be known that other forms of poker, including “video poker” and, presumably, Internet poker, are not included on his wish list.
“Nowhere in his legislation does he allow video poker or legalized gambling,” states a news report from Charleston, South Carolina’s ABC Channel 4 website (www.wciv.com).
Most likely, the senator’s efforts are designed to gain some publicity by taking up the populist cause of a number of South Carolina citizens recently convicted for playing poker on private premises. The convictions follow several high-profile poker busts in the past few years. Many of the state’s residents view these busts, and the law the enables them, as an infringement on their privacy.
At a recent public hearing on the topic, reports the Charleston Post and Courier, there was only one person who spoke out against legislation to overturn the law, calling it a “Trojan horse” that would usher in many more casinos and gambling activities in a state that currently has very little.
Since that is clearly the minority opinion on this issue, it may be surmised that Senator McConnell’s actions may stem from a motive to exploit publicity from these apparent pro-poker feelings, rather than from a legitimate desire to legalize the game. Either way, though, it’s clear to expect that his success would open the door for later action in the Internet poker arena.
As of now, the state is holding public hearings to gauge the public’s interest in overturning the anti-poker laws.