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House Passes Bill to Restrict Internet Poker
Brett_Tabke




msg:3003469
 2:44 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

[washingtonpost.com...]

The House easily approved a bill yesterday to curb online poker games, sports betting and other Internet-based wagering that gained infamy as a central focus of a major lobbying scandal.

The biggest losers could be the estimated 23 million Americans who play poker over the Internet. "This bill would needlessly make outlaws of the millions of adult Americans who enjoy online poker, and is the latest example of how our representatives in Congress are ignoring real issues facing our country," warned the grass-roots Poker Players Alliance, in an alert to its more than 25,000 members.


 

volatilegx




msg:3003511
 3:22 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Another blow to American liberty. I need to find out how my rep. voted and let him know how I feel. Time to phone some Senators.

Note, the bill was H.R. 4411, which for some reason was not mentioned in the article that I could find.

rohitj




msg:3003547
 4:13 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

how is this a blow to our liberty? the online gaming industry is hardly regulated and, in lieu of thousands getting burned especially those underage, they've taken necessary steps. there's barely any auditing and a ton of fraud in online gambling which is precisely why this passed pretty easily.

blaze




msg:3003582
 4:46 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

well, we'll see what the senate does. last I read, this wasn't really a priority for them.

BriGuy20




msg:3003629
 6:11 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Quoth the Rohitj:
how is this a blow to our liberty? the online gaming industry is hardly regulated and, in lieu of thousands getting burned especially those underage, they've taken necessary steps. there's barely any auditing and a ton of fraud in online gambling which is precisely why this passed pretty easily.

[Puts on flamesuit]

This passed because the Republicans needed a campaign issue to rally the church/values constituency and the Democrats got caught in the proverbial headlights (it's part of the Republicans' 10-part "American Values Plan").

Honestly, I think it should be regulated and taxed (another reason Republicans voted against it - taxes are to Republican voters what garlic/sunlight is to vampires. Can't be a true Republican if you even THINK of raising taxes). If the government gets into much more trouble financially and/or deficits become a large campaign issue, I think enough congresspeople will flip-flop on this issue and legalize/tax it.

History, BTW, doesn't suggest that banning an addictive activity does a good job at eradicating it (drugs/prostitution/alcohol, etc).

CanadianLove




msg:3003659
 7:08 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Another blow to American liberty.

A blow to what?

Easy_Coder




msg:3003793
 9:56 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

A blow to what?

Texas Hold Em log and blog spam.

Fortuneaff




msg:3003870
 11:41 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

My wonder is what listed gambling (legal) companies like Party Gaming are going to do about this? Can they afford to act ethically now that there is legislation against them in the USA?

The online Poker industry will go the same way that online gambling industry has gone. All underground and secretive. Most of the poker sites out there are owned by the gambling companies anyway so it's no big deal for them. Can listed companies do the same?

Online payments will go through third party payment mechanisms etc. So Online poker will not be choked finincially. They will just shift their marketing activity and some of their operations.

Will individuals who play poker ever be prosecuted? My point of view is this highly unlikely as it would mean going into the privacy issues that make America what it is today. Poker is not a homeland security threat.

This legislation was just another glorious waste of time and a lost opportunity to legalise a money making industry in my opinion.

John

Web_speed




msg:3003872
 11:46 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

how is this a blow to our liberty? the online gaming industry is hardly regulated and, in lieu of thousands getting burned especially those underage, they've taken necessary steps. there's barely any auditing and a ton of fraud in online gambling which is precisely why this passed pretty easily.

Ditto to every word.
About darn time IMO.

[edited by: Web_speed at 11:46 am (utc) on July 12, 2006]

paulj




msg:3003939
 1:03 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

how is this a blow to our liberty? the online gaming industry is hardly regulated and, in lieu of thousands getting burned especially those underage, they've taken necessary steps. there's barely any auditing and a ton of fraud in online gambling which is precisely why this passed pretty easily.

How is this bill going to change any of these things? All it will do is make things less regulated and more secretive. In terms of underage people gambling - besides the fact its concerning they have access to credit cards in the first place - do you think they will not find a way to continue playing online? Isn't part of the 'coolness' factor based on it being illegal? We're talking about a generation who grew up with the net, napster, bit torrent, etc.

All the American Goverment is doing is pushing this offshore where foreign companies and individuals will reap the returns without fear of reprisal. Lets face it, this legislation isn't going to halt the industry in its tracks...

Brett_Tabke




msg:3003974
 1:25 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Lets chill on the political discussion/debate/argument and get back to the net discussion. I know it is hard to do that on topics like this, but we all know where they lead too...

I really doubt this thing will ultimately pass in the Senate without a pretty big set of changes. I think it will be gutted before it gets passed.

atlrus




msg:3004008
 1:50 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

What IS regulated on the Internet?
Do you think that I will be regulated if I start selling ANYTHING online? How about porn - why dont we ban that one too... Let's just ban the Internet and get done with it.

Underage gamblers and destroying families? Give me a break - they should focus on busting meth labs if they want to save our children and families. What is your kid doing with a credit card anyways?!? Yeah, it's party poker's fault that your kid robbed a bank, not yours for not teaching him right from wrong.

It's just smoke, that's all. The usual once an year hand-wash. And even if it passes Senate - nothing will change whatsoever. They will try to make ISPs block gambling websites, but I dont think it will be that easy to control the net...

And if online gambling is so bad, why are there exemptions for online lotteries and hourse race betting?!?

rohitj




msg:3004014
 1:54 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Last I checked visa, american express, and all other major credit card companies are subject to US law, so even if offshore companies were to benefit from this (we'll see how this goes through the senate), they still will lose a ton of revenue in the long run from the lack of major available payment methods. Even if the NET is global in nature, internet users can be controlled/restricted finacially and otherwise by the laws of their country. I guess that's what we could take away from this discussion without going too much into the political debate!

And, while some of you pointed out that this will help offshore gambling, that doesn't mean they should condone it in the US or try to help US gambling sites. Granted, it depends how you look at it, whether its from a political or economic standpoint. However, by that way of thought, there'd be many industries where we could say we need to condone business X because country Y supports it.

[edited by: rohitj at 1:57 pm (utc) on July 12, 2006]

BriGuy20




msg:3004015
 1:54 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's SO HARD not to comment on this politically!

I'll try my best though. Besides, I got most of it out above.

Does anyone think this will materially affect the strength of the online gaming sector?

sugarrae




msg:3004039
 2:10 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>the online gaming industry is hardly regulated and, in lieu of thousands getting burned especially those underage

In a day and age where police departments have "web banging taskforces" [business.bostonherald.com] and "playgrounds" like MySpace, I hardly see online poker being the biggest online danger to teenagers. That, and the group of players *least* likely to take this law seriously are those already breaking the laws to play underage. I'm a member of the PPA and counting my lucky stars at the moment that I live in Canada currently. Regulate the online casinos (if you really feel the need) and tell parents to watch their *own* children.

That said, who this *will affect* (aside from the millions of *responsible* online poker players) are the online casinos and casino affiliates. This law makes John Retiree who sits in his home all day spending his pension the way he wants to a "criminal". Some of the dedicated players will find ways around it (not being able to deposit with a credit card). But many more honest and responsible players will simply have to give up a great hobby that they enjoy to remain a law abiding citizen.

atlrus




msg:3004068
 2:30 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Actually, I have never been able to deposit money with any of my credit cards - the banks had long stopped processing transactions from credit cards to casino accounts. But if you want to use your credit card - there are many ways to do so with the third party processors masking the transactions in an undetectable way.

I have personally won a jackpot at an [b]unregulated[\b] online casino, and I had no problems getting my winnings. It is true that there are many bogus casinos, but thanks to the affiliates they never make it to a decent traffic.

This industry is as bad as any other industy on the net.

I dont think somebody should tell me where I can spend my money if I dont harm nobody. Well, I can buy guns and ammo freely at Walmart, but god forbid I spend $200 playing blackjack on the Internet.

Most of the online gambling venues are from UK, Israel and US (through Antigua and Gibraltar) so I really dont see the sence of "money loundering for terrorism"...

And I see you guys talking about blog spamming and othe blackhat SEOs - well, guess what they will do if gambling becomes illegal and they succeed in stoping it? Yeah, right in your own industry. And as a partially gambling affiliate, let me tell you that you dont know hard times trying to outrank spammers as in this industry :) and if all goes the way you want it - prepare for the biggest SE battle of your life. Because it's not the affiliate industry what makes a spammer such, they just are, and will be whatever they advertise.

volatilegx




msg:3004076
 2:34 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

> get back to the net discussion

Well there really isn't much to talk about tech-wise except a possible cooling down of the affiliate sector. Or maybe we could talk about how anonymous proxy services will be doing more business. The funny thing is, I'm upset by this bill not because I'm a poker/gambling affiliate (I'm not, actively), but because I just love poker.

The bill was written to make it so third party transactions are off-limits, as well, although that would be tough to enforce. A third party transaction (funding a poker account through an intermediary) could be seen as money laundering as well.

As a blow to liberty, I don't see how a reasonable person can deny that H.R. 4411 will restrict personal liberty. If a version passes the Senate and is signed into law, you won't be able to do something you were able to do before. Whether that is a good thing or not is a different argument and thus using that argument to disprove my statement is fallacious.

Manga




msg:3004238
 4:06 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's one thing to outlaw the gambling sites, and quite another to make playing there illegal. So someone is a criminal if they play online, but not if they play in Vegas? Absolute nonsense.

woop01




msg:3004285
 4:41 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

For those who think it was about stopping gambling or protecting children, it's not. It's about stopping gambling that the government doesn't get a portion of the revenue from.

If it were truly about stopping gambling, they wouldn't have included exemptions for online state lotteries and horse racing.

blend27




msg:3004970
 1:58 am on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't have children and don't gamble. So what's in it from me?

@Manga: Absolute is a different issue :)

mcavic




msg:3009821
 9:07 pm on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Underage gamblers and destroying families?

Maybe.

They should focus on busting meth labs if they want to save our children and families

Yes.

icpooreman




msg:3010954
 1:57 am on Jul 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

The US is trying to cut down online poker and not lotteries and horse racing because the major online poker sites all belong to foreign bank accounts. Because of the foreign locations the US government doesn't have access to financial records meaning that the government has no way to tax the big winners on the site.

Go to any casino in the US and if you have a big win they'll take out tax on it. All except online poker, you're technically supposed to report it on your taxes but with the US having no access to financial records of the company there's no way to audit how much money you've really made playing online poker.

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