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Internet Gambling Legalization Bill to Be Considered by U.S. Congress
Barney Frank Says it's Time to Roll Back Gambling Ban
martinibuster




msg:3907264
 4:48 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

According to this report in The New York Times [nytimes.com]:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Barney Frank will unveil legislation on Wednesday to roll back a U.S. ban on online gambling, he said in a statement on Tuesday....

The Massachusetts Democrat said his legislation "will enable Americans to bet online and put an end to an inappropriate interference with their personal freedom."


 

marketingmagic




msg:3907285
 5:06 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Well it's about bloody time - keeping it illegal makes no sense at all.

jsinger




msg:3907313
 5:37 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Another reason to keep grandma away from the computer.

--
Legislators are the only group promoting gambling lately. The public isn't clamoring for more ways to lose money. Vegas is dead. Horse tracks are shutting down. No one's flipping penny stocks.

Like beleaguered thoroughbred tracks and riverboat casinos, the gov't may be asked to intervene to save "desktop casinos" if they don't attract enough suckers, err, patrons.

Philosopher




msg:3907326
 5:50 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Legislators are the only group promoting gambling lately

not true at all. The PPA (poker players alliance) is a multi-million member group that is very much for the legalization of online gambling. There are literally millions of americans that were extremely pissed about the passage of the UIGEA and how it affected their personal freedoms.

Barney has always been about getting rid of the UIGEA. It was a stupid bill from the get-go. The additional revenue that could be generated via taxation of legalized online gambling is estimated to be multi-billions.

Is gambling down at the moment? Sure, everything is, will things change in the future, of course.

Unfortunately, there is likely little chance the Bill will actually make it this time, but it's nice to see him trying.

[edited by: Philosopher at 5:51 pm (utc) on May 5, 2009]

mollila




msg:3907376
 7:39 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Well it's about bloody time - keeping it illegal makes no sense at all.

The bill did not make online gambling illegal; that is a misconception. Although it was named "Unlawful Internet gambling Act", it aimed to make it hard for financial institutions to transfer money from US citizens to online gambling sites.

incrediBILL




msg:3907381
 7:42 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

We have an economic disaster in the works and these morons running the country want to enable everyone to max out their credit cards and empty their bank accounts into gambling sites.

This is completely idiotic and financially irresponsible but considering the government can't control it's own spending, they might as well allow someone sitting home in their underwear join the party, spend beyond their means on non-essentials, and help send foreclosures and unemployment into a fever pitch high.

Don't get me wrong, I gamble all the time in the real world, when you're done you go home.

However, having tried online gaming a couple of times I found the convenience of it way to easy to blow $10K in a weekend without even trying. It's not like you have to go home to feed the cat, do laundry, deal with the kids, you're already there.

At the time I did that, I could afford it, many cannot.

Free sites or annual subscription sites where you pay a one-time fee to play all year or for a month, fine, but when each bet is racking up more debt, not so fine.

Now people sitting at home playing won't have money to go out and play and there's already more casinos than people that can support them already so watch what happens when the casino industry starts to collapse, hotels close, etc.

Yup, let's just shoot the casino economy in the foot and put more in the unemployment lines.

bears5122




msg:3907390
 8:02 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

I don't get why people are so adamant about letting the government tell us what we can and can't spend money on in our own home. If you are someone opposed to online gambling, then don't do it.

jsinger




msg:3907411
 8:49 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

I don't get why people are so adamant about letting the government tell us what we can and can't spend money...

Yeah and why tell AIG and the mega-banks what they can do with their money? :)

And did they figure out Philip Markoffs motives and how many people he killed, perhaps to finance his ***private*** poker habit ?

Regarding poker, I see little of it on TV anymore. My son and his high school friends briefly played a ton of poker a few years ago. He thought it was dull compared with his "day job"... trying to throw baseballs past 6'5" 250 pound batters 60' 6" away.

Habitual gambling can rise to a disease where personal, family and societal loss can be unlimited.

Demaestro




msg:3907413
 8:51 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Although it was named "Unlawful Internet gambling Act", it aimed to make it hard for financial institutions to transfer money from US citizens to online gambling sites.

That was my major issue with it. Not only were they restricting freedoms, but worse they tried to leave it up to private (CC) companies to police it for them.

In regards to the social effects it has. It isn't up to a government of a free country to protect you from yourself in every possible way. Yes people ruin their families and their lives to gamble..... However how many lives are ruined and people are killed crossing the street every year? You can't make crossing the street illegal to protect people who can't do it responsibly.

It should be up to the government to educate and warn people about the dangers in society, it is up to individuals what to do with that information..... in a free country at least that is how it should be.

[edited by: Demaestro at 8:57 pm (utc) on May 5, 2009]

brotherhood of LAN




msg:3907415
 8:52 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

There are plenty companies outwith the U.S. that'd love for online gambling to be legalised there again.

Some of these companies had their stock market valuation slashed when it became apparent they had to shut up shop to U.S. customers.

grelmar




msg:3907421
 9:10 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

But if they legalize gaming in the US, what will the Kahnawake [answers.com] do for money? Go back to smuggling cigarettes?

(Ok, so that's a reference so obscure most Canadians won't even get it)

Seriously. Legalize it and tax it. Vegas and a lot of other traditional gambling venues are suffering not because of a decrease in gaming, but because of the decentralization of gaming.

Gambling has become more available, in more forms, in more jurisdictions than ever before. Governments tend to take a pretty good cut of local gaming. I believe (based on what I know of human nature and the nature of governments in general), that a lot of the push against online gaming wasn't in seeing the act as a vice, but as a potential loss in revenue for regional governments.

It was marketed as a way of curbing vice. But that wasn't the reason for it.

The problem is, the horse had already left the barn, so there's no point in closing the door. The only real option is to regulate it in as responsible a manner as possible, and for the fed to divvy up the tax revenue to regions.

But that would be logical. So that's not what we should expect to happen from a federal level.

koan




msg:3907422
 9:12 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

I don't see how people equate decriminalizing something into "promoting" it. It's not for the government to decide what you can do with your own life, even if it's not recommended. As the americans are fond of saying, the government is not a nanny, and they certainly shouldn't punish people for "moral" and victimless crimes.

Tax the hell out of the vice and use those funds to educate and help people who develop problems, and let the other responsible ones enjoy it.

PS: I don't gamble at all.

incrediBILL




msg:3907425
 9:25 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Tax the hell out of the vice and use those funds to educate and help people who develop problems, and let the other responsible ones enjoy it.

That doesn't work because the majority of the casinos are Indian casinos in the US and if you try to make special rules for them they roll out the racism card and claim people are trying to deprive their tribes of their only major source of income.

You can't win.

rehabguy




msg:3907426
 9:26 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

A good number of people think gambling is "victimless", but sometimes it isn't.

A church I used to attend helped several local families who couldn't pay their electric and water bills because they were buying $2,000+/month of state-sponsored lottery tickets. All of these people had children who suffered, and were therefore "victims" of their parent's addition.

The state continues to run more and more "get rich quick" ads targeted at these people. (During daytime TV, along with the worker's-comp lawyers)

I don't plan to follow up on this post. I'm not trying to start an argument.

I'm just pointing out a sad reality: When you make things more accessible, people access and abuse it.

Access to good things = good results
Access to addictive things = bad results

incrediBILL




msg:3907430
 9:43 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Also, when it's ONLINE GAMBLING it's harder to tell when you're being cheated.

When I'm sitting across from real dealers and players I can see what's going on as much as possible.

Heck, NBC just ran a big story about stores selling lottery tickets scanning winning tickets and lying to the customer, some cashing in as much as $500K per store.

And they think online gambling will be safer than the lottery?

BradleyT




msg:3907431
 9:47 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

The UIGEA puts a large burden on banks to block transactions to gambling sites. That's just what the banks need to be focusing on right now </sarcasm>

Anyway, bring back the days of Party Poker 2003/2004!

HU4ROLLZ?

koan




msg:3907435
 9:51 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Access to good things = good results
Access to addictive things = bad results

Well that's the problem with moral laws, who gets to say what is good and what is bad, and based on what belief system? Everybody have their own religion and its not for the government to push one down every one's throat. I like to eat seafood and pork, thank you, I don't care about anyone else's moral laws on that matter. Laws should be based on reason.

As for you example, you blame gambling while you should be blaming parental negligence. If parents were feeding their kids with bacon and chocolate all day and the kids were obese, would you blame and criminalize the food or blame parental negligence?

It's not a god idea to restrict everyone's freedom for the sake of protecting some excessive people against themselves.

bears5122




msg:3907449
 10:22 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Also, when it's ONLINE GAMBLING it's harder to tell when you're being cheated.

People get cheated in every facet of life. It's up to them to determine the risk when choosing a casino. It's harder to tell when you've had your credit card stolen online than in person. But we aren't demanding that all online retailers be shut down.

The obvious solution would be to legalize it and let the government regulate (and tax) it. There would be more trust from players and a lot of revenue brought into the country from abroad.

mollila




msg:3907453
 10:34 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

There are plenty companies outwith the U.S. that'd love for online gambling to be legalised there again.
Some of these companies had their stock market valuation slashed when it became apparent they had to shut up shop to U.S. customers.

The stock listed companies who stopped accepting US online gamblers took a hit, but American gamblers moved on to play at offshore sites which are still having their profits soar. Despite the UIGEA, US players are finding ways to deposit and withdraw money from online gamling sites. This bill has not stopped Americans from gambling online, it has just forced them to switch websites.

The global online gambling business goes on as we speak; business as usual. Would it not be better for US to regulate and tax it, instead of letting offshore companies run the show?

grelmar




msg:3907457
 10:46 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Access to good things = good results
Access to addictive things = bad results

You could some that up another way:

Let the people decide their own fate, and Darwin will sort out the results.

incrediBILL




msg:3907495
 11:58 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Let the people decide their own fate, and Darwin will sort out the results.

Good idea, let's just toss all the laws and live like we did in the WWW (wild wild west).

Shoot first, ask questions later, I like it.

kaled




msg:3907502
 12:24 am on May 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

This issue can be answered with two simple questions...

1) Would the world be a better place if online gambling rank amok?
2) Would the world be a better place if online gambling was eliminated altogether?

I would say the answers are 1) NO and 2) YES.

Of course, some will say that people should have the right to throw their money away and their is some merit in this argument. Therefore I would say the best solution is to ration how much people spend per month (in total, on all plastic). Setting and policing the limits would be tricky but that is the nature of many problems.

Kaled.

Murdoch




msg:3907533
 2:02 am on May 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

1) Would the world be a better place if online gambling ran amok?
2) Would the world be a better place if online gambling was eliminated altogether?

You use the words "amok" and "eliminate" as if we are chasing down a monster instead of an industry. The industry itself is not to blame for indiscretions within the industry. People are. We need to create laws and enforce them, not outlaw it altogether.

The problem legislators are faced with now is the fact that people are not going to stop gambling online, and since we are not allowing it, all that money is leaving the U.S., whereas it might be put to better use here.

koan




msg:3907574
 4:09 am on May 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

You use the words "amok" and "eliminate" as if we are chasing down a monster instead of an industry.

I think we have a few closet neo-puritans on this site, wanting to prohibit anything they don't like.

Fine, let's eliminate anything that doesn't contribute positively to people's lives: high fat food, sweets, guns, tobacco, alcohol, violent movies, sex magazines, heavy metal music, dangerous sports, unnecessary luxury items people can't afford, etc.

Oh look at that, we got ourselves a Taliban society.

MrHard




msg:3907590
 4:27 am on May 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Internet gambling is more like a scam then a vice.

The payouts are not regulated as far as I know. You can't see people win and jump up and down like in Vegas. No way of knowing if you have any odds at all.

If it's just entertainment they should have a disclaimer saying that you don't ever win.

buckworks




msg:3907593
 4:38 am on May 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

anything that doesn't contribute positively to people's lives

There's quite a difference between merely not being positive, and doing active, serious harm.

A few years ago I ran for city councillor in the city I was living in at the time. I didn't win, but I learned a lot of things along the way.

While campaigning, I knocked on a lot of doors, and one of the questions I asked people was what changes would improve their lives. I was both fascinated and sickened by how many times the answer was "Do something to reduce the gambling."

I heard story after story of family strife caused by someone's gambling addiction, ranging from simple quarrelling to divorce and bankruptcy.

And our governments encourage this! No one is more addicted to gambling than our governments. There's a distinct shortage of truth in advertising when it comes to casinos and lottery ads.

You can't drink away half your retirement savings in a weekend, but you could gamble them away. At least on the financial side, the scale and speed of the harm that can be done is orders of magnitude greater than other so-called vices.

Several times as an affiliate marketer someone tried to recruit me to promote gambling sites. I might have acquired a lot of money (I can't bring myself to say "earned") if I had turned my affiliate energies from consumer shopping to casinos, but I couldn't go there.

It would have been blood money.

koan




msg:3907602
 5:08 am on May 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

There's quite a difference between merely not being positive, and doing active, serious harm.

I wasn't aware gambling was such a huge rampant problem. I guess it depends where you live, poor places being more affected. Either way, I don't gamble myself, so it's not a personal issue, but I really hate it when freedom is restricted because of a minority (ex: children's parks being closed down because someone got hurt) or worse, because some people simply don't like it based on some arbitrary "moral" beliefs (ex: gay marriage, pot smoking, etc). It's oppressive.

But if the problem has reached such a scale, I imagine having some restrictions in place would be in order, like a maximum amount of money being played and such.

Puritan : Someone who is afraid that, somewhere, someone else is having a good time.
- H. L. Mencken.

martinibuster




msg:3907677
 8:22 am on May 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

What do you think the chances are of this bill becoming a law?

Philosopher




msg:3907913
 2:32 pm on May 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

at this time...little. There is likely too much opposition.

The bottom line is there is a huge amount of hypocrisy in the bill. They claim it's for our own good, which is a load of BS in the first place. Wagering on online horse racing is explicitly exempt from the bill.

So...it's ok to wager on the horses..but not at an online casino? How is that protecting anyone?

It has also caused us to break our WTO obligations with numerous countries around the world. Due to that the US will have to open up large sectors of private trade areas to Europe. That alone will end up costing America Billions of Dollars in lost revenue as it will go to European companies. Just run a search on the topic for more info as we flat out broke our trade agreements with other countries when the bill was introduced.

jsinger




msg:3907986
 3:24 pm on May 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'd like to have the freedom to gamble online (and every other freedom). But I wouldn't want our bookkeepers to:

"Annette Yeomans...siphoned nearly $10 million from her San Marcos employer to go on gambling and shopping sprees. Yeomans is accused of amassing more than $1 million in designer clothes, converting a bedroom in her Escondido home into a closet, complete with a crystal chandelier, granite island and plasma TV. Charged with 51 counts, Yeomans faces about 40 years in prison if convicted."

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