Last Thursday, Benzinga sat down with Matt Showell, Editor-in-Chief of PokerListings, to discuss how the internet has changed the poker and gambling industry.
Showell explained that online gambling allows those to play in a ‘less threatening environment’ because “not everyone wants to go in and sit down at a casino… online poker made it so anyone who is over 18 can sit in their own home, play poker, learn it and gain exposure to the game.”
Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson in June gained a lot of publicity for speaking out against online gambling: “We made billions of dollars last year. It is not a money issue with me. I think it is a train wreck. It’s really toxicity. It is a cancer waiting to happen.”
When asked about the dangers of gambling online, Showell replied:
If you put something in someone’s home and they have a problem with it, its going to be that much easier to take advantage of it. It’s patronizing for Sheldon Adelson to tell the country that you are not responsible enough, or that you don’t have the capability to handle something like this, when the reality is that the vast majority of people are playing for a 100 bucks or free.
Showell doesn’t agree with Adelson’s assertion that winning at poker does not take skill and is a matter of luck, questioning his credibility.
“My exposure to the industry has not put me in contact with an overwhelming number of people losing their houses, but rather quite the opposite,” Showell says. “There are a lot of people who are providing for their families and creating opportunities for themselves by working hard at online poker.”