Dario De Toffoli interviewed on the Italia Poker Club Magazine about the lack of poker laws: “It could be due to ignorance or just because it is not convinient”
Here below the complete interview
A few days ago the games expert Dario De Toffoli, journalist of the “Il Fatto Quotidiano“, published an article commenting an interview to Stefano Fassina.
The Italian Left Party politician talked about the Italian contraddiction of being against problem gambling on one side and at the same time getting many profits from it.
Dario agrees, defining it even hypocritical more than contradictory, but he is against Fassina’s sentence: “Insist on legal games also from the economical profits point of view, and don’t discourage it… the highest danger is given by the illegal offer”.
In Dario’s opinion, the danger comes exactly from the legal games that push weak people towards the ruin of gambling (more details on the article).
We know there is a big difference between skill games and gambling games! We called Dario to underline this, and to make sure that poker isn’t involved in these kind of problems:
“That article caused quite a lot of controversies… [he laughs] Concerning poker, I really have no idea why it isn’t recognized as a skill game. I personally try to underline it whenever I get the chance. It shouldn’t be classified as a gambling game, because there is a big difference between gambling and games played using money. Unfortunately this difference doesn’t exist for the crowd. Gambling games concentrate on the presence of money, while poker (and other games) have besides money also the skills component. It is impossible to get an addiction to poker, because compared to the slot machines, when you start losing against other players, you get frustrated, not alienated. You realize that your opponents are better and decide to give up. This concept doesn’t exist when you play against a slot machine.”
If poker doesn’t cause problem gambling, then: “Why isn’t there a law for poker?”, and: “Why is poker judged as a worse game compared to the slot machines?”
“I don’t know why there isn’t any law for poker. But I have two theories about it: one is ignorance, and the other is that it is actually not very convinient having people play one night just spending €30; in one evening, with the slot machines, one spends much more. But the prejudice considering poker a gambling game is an old story… I remember when there was the issue of opening places for people that play poker… it was a scandal: ‘What? They permit the opening of new gambling houses?’ The articles about it showed pictures with slot machines, and that was not helping. Putting slot machines and poker at the same level is an old error. Once there was a slot machine with video poker, which mixed up these two kind of games creating more confusion. Years after, when online poker begun, the confusion was even bigger.”
At this point we ask De Toffoli a forecast for a possible law about poker… is there a chance to save this beloved game?
“Concerning live poker I have no real answers. Poker, in Italy as well as in other countries, has problems that should not exist, since the amount of money is considerably different from the money used in gambling games! I would vote for the opening of new Casinos and the closing of slot machines rooms. There should be more freedom, but there should be rules to get a better control. I sometimes join poker clubs, I have a nice evening spending just €30 and have fun. I really don’t see these places as realities that could disturb in any way… but I imagine that there might be clubs that offer also other things, but besides the fact that there should be rules and control on these things, I approve the Cash Game reality.”
Concerning poker online there is actually a law, but Dario is not too convinced about it, and takes the chance to give his opinion about tracking softwares:
“Cash is more difficult to be controlled, compared to the online playing, where you can play freely. I don’t really think that laws can protect players… it is true that the entrance fee is not more than €1.000, but it is also true that I don’t have any limits and I could lose a big amount of money. I personally would put a monthly limit of all the poker rooms – lets say for example €1.000, but I would legalize all levels of tables so that you may use without limits but taking from what you won. By the way, I think that it is absurd that the EU doesn’t have a general platform with general rules to play. But I don’t expect a short term change… poker on-line lost interest in these days compared with ten years ago, an occasional player shouldn’t play against professionists that use tracking softwares, that is not a fare battle! I would ban them all and am happy that somebody is talking about it.”