Poker's popularity worries Utah officials.A lot of people say the whole thing - the poker tables for sale in supermarkets, the proliferation of Texas Hold'em tournaments, the way poker supplies flew off the shelves this Christmas season even in Salt Lake City - started with a man whose improbable name is Chris Moneymaker.
The new popularity of poker worries people like Keith Whyte, executive director of the nonprofit National Council on Problem Gambling. "We know that most gambling is not harmful, just like most people can drink without harm." But he worries that the TV poker shows glamorize gambling and fail to acknowledge its pitfalls. The games should come with the equivalent of a warning label, he says. The Council has put together a 30-second public service announcement and offered it to the channels that feature poker, but none has aired it.
Whyte and others worry that poker shows on TV will create a new generation of addicted gamblers. "We believe that online poker is particularly attractive to youth," he says. "And the earlier you start gambling the more likely you are to have a gambling problem."
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