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US Congress banned Internet gambling
For real this time
MichaelBluejay




msg:3103220
 9:51 am on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Congress approves Internet gambling ban [today.reuters.com] at Reuters

Republican Senators attached the ban amendment to a bill on port security, ensuring that it would pass. The measure attempts to stop the money flow, by making it illegal for banks to process online gambling transactions. Banks protested that they have no way of knowing whether transactions are gambling-related or not. But that doesn't matter now, the bill now goes to the President, who will sign it.

Gambling affiliates are freaking out, as you might suspect.

 

woop01




msg:3103274
 11:10 am on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

You can tell how little real support there is for something when it's piggybacked to an unrelated politically sensitive bill in an all-night session right before a recess.

MichaelBluejay




msg:3103281
 11:33 am on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes, very true.

I should clarify the title of my post. Congress didn't make it illegal for people to place bets or for operators to take them. That may have already been illegal ("may" because the law is vague and depends on interpretation). What they did now was to make it illegal for banks to process the transactions. Most U.S. banks already blocked gambling-related credit card transactions anyway, even without a law.

What could change now is that operators stop taking bets from U.S. players because they don't want to run afoul of the U.S. government. If that happens, it could be that nobody goes to jail, but that affiliates' livelihoods are ruined (many operators too, probably).

kaled




msg:3103326
 1:09 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have long thought that online gambling was a really bad idea and have no sympathy for the victims of this bill.

It's one thing to hand over cash to place a bet, but it's entirely another matter online. Also, if you're talking poker, etc. I can see no possible way to ensure the game is straight.

I hope that the UK follows suit, but I shan't hold my breath.

Kaled.

vite_rts




msg:3103328
 1:12 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Uk is the land of personal freedom, I hope

Webwork




msg:3103369
 2:13 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

In a nation where State and local governments are increasingly addicted to gaming revenue as their new "tax base" I see no moral high ground in this legislation.

If gaming is a bad thing and this bill is justified by claims that it will deter bad behavior or bad (rigged) gaming outcomes, then this bill is a sham, as the very best this law will achieve will be to send people to the nearest "official" (racetrack, slot machine parlor, casino, etc) gambling establishment, where people will lose their money as certainly as had they bet the same money online.

Just like online gaming our government approved gaming halls are not built upon the economic premise of people winning. Losers make gambling, as a viable business model, work.

We are a nation of moral illusionists.

The thin shred of moral superiority is the premise that the loser's money - as someone else's "profit" - will somehow be better spent in one system versus the other.

"Yes, come and lose your money here, in our government approved gaming hall. Your losses will fund education and healthcare. You know, those government entreprises that you all so hate to underwrite through taxes."

We are comfortable with this logic, as it fits our illusion that it is more moral to excercise our freedom to chose gambling, over taxes, to fund public good.

[edited by: Webwork at 2:31 pm (utc) on Sep. 30, 2006]

Tropical Island




msg:3103378
 2:30 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's one thing to hand over cash to place a bet, but it's entirely another matter online.

Kaled, with all due respect, I can't see any difference. You walk into a casino and buy chips and use them in gaming. On line you deposit money to your account, buy chips and use them in gaming.

I am a poker player and enjoy it as a hobby immensely. I don't live in the USA however the only easy way I can get money to my account is through my US account. I would be really disappointed to see that avenue closed.

Manga




msg:3103463
 3:45 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Webwork, you took the words right out of my mouth. This is an extremely hypocritical law.

kapow




msg:3103478
 4:02 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

If this goes through, which freedoms are next? Whilst I am not particularly interested in online gambling, it should be my choice to spend my money in such a harmless way.

The online Gambling sites (and their money) will simply move to China or another country with more freedom than the US.

There are some genuinely harmful things they could ban instead!

hughie




msg:3103487
 4:05 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

seems to be simple economic protectionism, stopping cash flowing out to offshore companies rather than into the hands of the US based gaming industry and the government.

KenB




msg:3103497
 4:15 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Uk is the land of personal freedom, I hope

You mean the land where there is a CCTV camera on every street corner don't you?

seems to be simple economic protectionism, stopping cash flowing out to offshore companies rather than into the hands of the US based gaming industry and the government.

Bingo! We have a winner!

Morality is nothing more than a smokescreen for the real reason government controls gambling. It is about controlling the flow of money and making sure government gets their piece of the action.

vite_rts




msg:3103589
 5:52 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

"You mean the land where there is a CCTV camera on every street corner don't you?"

That too :-)

But , I really mean't other freedoms like, online poker :-)

Essex_boy




msg:3103629
 6:28 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hmm thats very true.

How ever the UK encourages online gaming and I think its going to be an interesting few years on that front, afterall the UK more often than not follows the USA in major areas of national policy.

I dont see anything like that happening here, one of teh largest peer to peer betting sites or rather one of the founders gives large sums to the Conservative party, they may be a lot of things but they know where their bread comes from and they like the taste.

Personally I cant see how the US could enforce this on the UK either.

atlrus




msg:3103679
 7:12 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's sad that WebmasterWorld just "copy and paste" news like this - aiding the agenda of the bill.

Nothing was banned, period. It was made illegal for the banks to make transactions to online gambling sites - that's it.

As it has been the banks choice for years now to avoid direct transactions beteewn themselves and the casinos - nothing changes.

If the Reps were really concerned - they would have kept the bill in it's full verison - all they did now is create a campain tool for the elections.

The title of this thread is very misleading, and I am sure that the Rep. PR machine will make sure that this attachment to the port bill would be blown out of proportion by every news outlet...sad but true...

pele




msg:3103684
 7:14 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Next the government will be working on a new top domain name .game to control them all.

born2drv




msg:3103702
 7:37 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

In a nation where State and local governments are increasingly addicted to gaming revenue as their new "tax base" I see no moral high ground in this legislation.

You just proved your own arguement wrong :) By passing this legislation they ensure Americans gamble under their terms which means they reap the taxes generated in local casinos instead of sending the money overseas since most of the casinos are internationally based.

We have government in place to protect us, I'm sure everyone will argue just where that protection starts and ends. Personally this makes me very happy. I think gambling is simply another form of taxation of the poor, including lotto. Just thinking of the reduction in spam caused by this makes me happy.

All they need to do now is ban cigarettes and guns and I'll be happy ;)

TimmyMagic




msg:3103731
 8:31 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am an amatuer poker player and run a website about poker. I'm also, thankfully, from the UK. However, I am not particulatly concerned about my affiliation with the online poker rooms. I'm sure that US based players will just switch to depositing their poker accounts via certain online payment programs, like many already do.

But I do find it astonishing that the US government is so bothered about online gambling. I don't want to get too political, but is this not typical of the Republicans and their church/values constituency. What I find really strange (and quite disturbing) is that US citizens can freely buy guns and ammo in Walmart, but they have to break the law to play poker online!

Regards,

Tim

oneguy




msg:3103861
 11:28 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

By passing this legislation they ensure Americans gamble under their terms

Yeah... people make big money when laws are passed. There are always winners and losers.

If laws were really about justice, I don't think many countries would need full time legislators. Respecting other people and their property can only be said in so many ways.

kaled




msg:3103913
 12:44 am on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I said
It's one thing to hand over cash to place a bet, but it's entirely another matter online.

Tropical island said
Kaled, with all due respect, I can't see any difference. You walk into a casino and buy chips and use them in gaming. On line you deposit money to your account, buy chips and use them in gaming.

1) If I have cash in my pocket, the chances are it won't cripple me to loose it, but online gambling typically means credit-cards. We all know that some people get into trouble with credit.
2) Identity - suppose I have a teenager that uses my credit-card, I can't exactly claim my money back but when placing bets in person, the chances are the child would be refused admission.
3) All physical casinos and bookies, etc. are regulated - who regulates online casinos?

That's three major differences that I can think of before I go to bed!

Kaled.

nealw




msg:3103923
 1:06 am on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ok...

What's to stop me from opening a bank account (a checking account) in a bank in the Bahamas or the Cayman Islands or wherever outside of the United States...then simply transfer some money to that account...then login on to whatever gambling site I want and play to my hearts content.

I don't really see how this is going to stop people who actually want to gamble online. It only adds one step of creating a bank account at a bank outside of the USA - big deal!?

Anyone...?

KenB




msg:3103932
 1:27 am on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

What's to stop me from opening a bank account (a checking account) in a bank in the Bahamas or the Cayman Islands or wherever outside of the United States...then simply transfer some money to that account...then login on to whatever gambling site I want and play to my hearts content.

I don't really see how this is going to stop people who actually want to gamble online. It only adds one step of creating a bank account at a bank outside of the USA - big deal!?


Most American's won't go to this trouble and in fact most won't even know how to. It will be a signficant hurdle that would stop the vast majority of U.S. based Internet gambling. Yes people could get around this in the way described above, but most won't even try.

nealw




msg:3103938
 1:47 am on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Most American's won't go to this trouble and in fact most won't even know how to...Yes people could get around this in the way described above, but most won't even try.

Sounds like a business opportunity to me! :-)

For only $250 we will set up and show you how to ... blah blah blah.

[edited by: jatar_k at 3:43 am (utc) on Oct. 1, 2006]
[edit reason] no urls thanks [/edit]

simey




msg:3103972
 3:35 am on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

These gambling sites already accept '3rd party' workarounds for payment.

I dont see much that will change unless the banks and govt. plan on following every dollar (after it is withdrawn) through the various transactions.

growingdigital




msg:3103982
 4:08 am on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Why not stop all this nonsense and just make online gambling legal in the US? If anything, this should be legislated by the states (similar to lotteries and casinos) rather than the federal government.

Think of the tax revenue Washington Spendocrats are missing out on by having all those dollars flow overseas rather than our own coffers.

TimmyMagic




msg:3104690
 10:52 pm on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

These gambling sites already accept '3rd party' workarounds for payment.

Yes, that's right. Many online poker players (me included) use such payment systems. Some poker sites charge for using credit cards, which is why many people currently use these systems. I'm sure that the people running these businesses will be rubbing their hands with glee.

The simple fact is, thousands of Americans like to play poker. For crying out load, you guys invented the game of texas hold em, and you're not allowed to play it online!

Do you seriously think poker players will stop because of this legislation? Of course they won't. It might put a few people off, but not the majority.

Whatever next!

ispy




msg:3104707
 11:44 pm on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Looks like a good bill. As far as I know there is no oversight on mandatory payout ratios for online casinos like there are for physical casinos (at least in Nevada).

engine




msg:3105078
 10:46 am on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Internet gambling firm 888 Holdings Plc is expected to freeze indefinitely business from U.S. customers on Monday after Washington moved to tighten its online gambling laws, the Financial Times said.

The company is thought to be preparing to issue a statement to the London Stock Exchange acknowledging that congressional approval of the U.S. bill last Friday would have a "material" negative impact on its trade, the newspaper reported, citing unnamed people close to 888.

888 to freeze US business after gambling bill-FT [today.reuters.co.uk]

Online gaming firms faced their biggest-ever crisis on Monday after U.S. Congress passed legislation to end Internet gaming there, threatening jobs and wiping 3.5 billion pounds off share prices.

Britain's PartyGaming, operator of leading Internet poker site PartyPoker.com, and rivals Sportingbet and 888 said they would likely pull out of the United States, their biggest source of revenue, and warned on future profits.

Online gaming in crisis over U.S. ban [today.reuters.co.uk]

kaled




msg:3105101
 11:09 am on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would say that less gambling means the world is a better place. It's not often that a law is passed that actually makes things better for the poor at the expense of the rich.

Of course, some people will find a way around it and some will be affronted at having their civil liberties curtailed, but on balance, this has to be a good thing.

Kaled.

Tropical Island




msg:3105251
 1:17 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Of course, some people will find a way around it and some will be affronted at having their civil liberties curtailed, but on balance, this has to be a good thing.

Not everyone will agree with you.

kaled




msg:3105262
 1:29 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not everyone will agree with you.

I've gotten used to that over the last 40 years. Without a doubt, those that have just lost both sleeves of their shirts as share prices have tanked by more than 50% will certainly disagree with me.

Kaled.

This 115 message thread spans 4 pages: 115 ( [1] 2 3 4 > >
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