Pataki likes online casinos when it comes to horseracing
The hypocrisy of US
federal government attempts to stifle or ban online casinos - at
least some forms of online casinos - was thrown into sharp focus
again this week with the announcement that gamblers in the state
of New York will soon have two new ways to bet on their favorite
horses: Cell phones and on the internet, like at online casinos.
A state law allowing such online casinos wagers was signed off
by Gov. George Pataki in late July, reports Times Union and
supporters say it should "...help capture millions of dollars in
horse racing bets that now go to other states or private online
Despite the alleged moral and criminal dangers to Americans
represented by online casinos and sports betting, legislators
have for years wheeled and dealed on exemptions to their online
casinos banning efforts when it comes to online state lotteries
and the powerful horseracing sector. The lure of big revenues
from online casinos wagering has clearly not been ignored by
either politicians or governing bodies and this week leaders in
the sector appeared to be pleased with the new state law.
Governor Pataki's enabling law for horserace betting at online
casinos and over the telephone supports an effort by the state's
horse racing industry to "...reach out to younger bettors,
including members of the Internet-savvy Generation Y as well as
baby boomers who increasingly use computers for shopping,
communicating and other tasks," Times Union reports.
Stating the obvious, Daniel Wray, executive director of
legislative affairs for the New York City OTB said: "This is a
very big win for the entire racing industry. This was already
being done under our noses," Wray said, explaining that
countless New Yorkers were believed to be making horse racing
bets with online casinos even though it was "technically
illegal" to do so.
"The Internet has become such a big part of the way people live,
and we need to be able to change with the times," said Bill
Nader, commenting on the new online casinos information, chief
operating officer for the New York Racing Association, which
holds the franchise for horse racing in the state.
Mike Connery, president and CEO of Capital District Regional
Off-Track Betting Corp., said the meteoric rise of online
casinos has "decimated us over the past couple of years," taking
a sizable chunk of business from the state's OTB parlors to
Online casinos are considered more profitable for the industry
because it doesn't require phone operators to take the bets.
Capital OTB got a wake-up call about the growth of online
casinos about five months ago at its popular Tele-Theater on
Central Avenue in Albany. Workers at the betting parlor one day
found the windshields of patrons' cars in the parking lot
plastered with fliers urging people to open accounts with an
online gambling firm. The company offered players $200 if they
opened an account with $200 of their own, said Connery.