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Andy Bloch interview - Part 3: Law & Gambling

You graduated from Harvard Law School in 1999.

Q : Looking at your colorful past as a professional gambler, what made you decide to enter Harvard Law School? A law career seems to be diametrically opposed to a career as a professional gambler?

A: When I quit my second engineering job and started playing full time, I never intended to be a professional gambler forever. I wanted to do something more meaningful and helpful to society.

Q: What's your professional opinion on the current legal status of online gambling, and in particular of online poker, in the United States?

A: It's very hard to stop anything from taking place on the internet. The US should instead license and regulate online poker. As a game of skill, poker can be a good learning tool -- it's a form of entertainment that people can use to exercise their minds and actually learn while playing. And a lot of what you learn from poker you can apply to other things. That's not true of pure gambling games like most slot machines.

Q: What developments do you foresee for the future, given that George W. Bush has been re-elected for another four years, and the Republicans hold a majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives?

A: First, anti-gambling sentiments don't follow a strict party line. There are liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans who are against gambling. Republicans seem to be more anti-gambling, but that's not always the case. For example, the Republican governor of Maryland has been trying to bring slot machines in the state but the Democratic-controlled legislature has refused. Ashcroft's Justice Department has been tough on some media outlets that have taken gambling ads and credit card companies that deal with on-line gambling sites. I don't foresee that changing much, unless new legislation is passed.

Continue with Part 4 of this interview: Poker

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