What's the future of online gambling? - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Crystal Oko

What's the future of online gambling?

ROCHESTER, MN (FOX 47) --  For some, online gambling is just a form of entertainment. For others, their job. Both types of players say they will suffer if Minnesota regulators tighten their grip on online-gambling, by blocking gaming websites.

Doc Shipton has played poker for years. In fact, poker is his job. He organizes poker tournaments around Southeastern Minnesota.

So when he heard the state's latest tactic to prevent online gambling, including poker, he had something to say.

"I think it's kind of dumb actually. I mean they're citing a law that goes back to 1961. 35 years before the internet became popular," said Doc Shipton of Big Doc Poker.

Using a 1961 federal law designed to stop illegal gambling, the state has directed 11 telephone and Internet service providers to block nearly 200 gambling Web sites.

"It's a recreational hobby. Some people do play for money. It's more fun. It's like the bar poker tournaments I run. The next thing you know they'll want to take that away. That's entertainment for 60 to 70 people a night," said Shipton.

Shipton says many players do play online-anything from blackjack to poker. And though playing online is different, it's also more convenient.

"If I want to play at 3 o'clock in the morning, you can't always call up your friends and get a game going at 4 a.m. at someone's house, but you can do that online," said Shipton.

Shipton worries that this new regulation would not only affect casual players, but ones who make their living online. They'd be out of a job.

"I just don't think it makes much sense," said Doc Shipton.

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