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WATCH: Jason Somerville Discusses the Need for Regulation of Online Poker in the U.S. on CNBC

  • WATCH: Jason Somerville advocates for the regulation of online poker in the U.S. on CNBC.

The regulation and legalization of online poker in the United States continues to be a hot-button topic in the media. Today on CNBC's Power Lunch, poker pro Jason Somerville advocated for the regulation of online poker in a debate that also featured Rev. James Butler from the California Coalition Against Gambling Expansion.

Butler began the segment by painting a bleak picture, essentially stating that governments that use gambling as an economic resource suffer financial losses rather than gains due to the social impact. "It occurs through the social and economic cost of increases in crime, unemployment, welfare, homelessness, and bankruptcy to name a few" of those negatives, said Butler.

Somerville countered that "online poker exists in a regulated and safe environment in the majority of countries around the world." Somerville continued by saying "hundreds of thousands of Americans are already playing online poker, but they're playing on unregulated, unsafe sites where they don't know that the games are square and they don't know if their money is safe."

What did you think about the debate? Did Somerville hold his own against the Reverend?

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