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We could win the battle, but can we win the war on online gambling?

Rep. Barney Frank announced today that he will continue to seek support for his future fight against the online gambling ban. As a chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Frank has probably heard enough from the banking sector, or has he?

Rep. Barney Frank and the banking sectorBy now, we all should know that the laws on Capital Hill are not made for the people, but for the big businesses and almost always serve financial interests. Could this be the case with Mr. Frank, or does he truly believe in the freedom of the adults in this country to choose their form of entertainment, as long as does not harm others?

His words during the debate of the bill in the House of the Representatives made us believe us so:
 "If an adult in this country, with his or her own money, wants to engage in an activity that harms no one, how dare we prohibit it because it doesn't add to the GDP or it has no macroeconomic benefit. Are we all to take home calculators and, until we have satisfied the gentleman from Iowa that we are being socially useful, we abstain from recreational activities that we choose?"*

Strong words. And I agree with him, as would any other person with a head on the shoulders. Must everything we do have a public value? Isn't the meaning of entertainment to spend some time doing meaningless tasks which make us happy? Isn't it enough that most of us have to go to work for at least 8 hours a day to contribute to the GDP, but now we have to do it on our own time, too?

But back to the point. I do admire Congressman Barney Frank on speaking about the basis of the problem - it's my business what I do with my money, as long as I don't harm anyone.

That said, one have to ask, why is the Chairman only trying to repeal those parts of the bill which deal with his committee - the ban on the banks and financial institutions to transfer money to online gambling websites? Yes, I know, because he is the Chairman of the Financial Services Committee; but if he believed in his own speech, wouldn't it be better if he would charge ahead with the core issue of the bill - the freedom from which Americans were robbed?

Many people would disagree and say that, no matter the way, just get it done. Just repeal that online gambling law, so we can play online poker again, and have some fun at the slots.

But you have to understand that if Barney Frank is lucky enough and get the banking transactions part out of the UIGEA, there would be two things left:

  • Online gambling websites would still be in violation of the US law if they accept American players at their properties.
  • The law itself would not be completely repealed, which would leave this industry open for future "legal attacks" and laws.
We need this law off the books, because it violates people's freedom. Anything less than that would be just a temporary patch, until the next Leach comes along and brings up a different version, tailored to the land based casino interests. Congressman Frank needs to make it clear that this bill will be repealed because it is against the people, not just against the banks and credit card companies! If the online gambling law is defeated based only on the financial side of it, it would be a victory, but we will win just this battle, and the war will go on.

I, like most of you, do want to see this anti gambling law gone, too. But right now we have the golden opportunity to close the book on this issue once and for all. The online gambling industry is already in the worst condition it has ever been. The current law in its form will prove unenforceable. So shouldn't we take that chance and cut the head of the snake rather than just the tail?


  *(full speech here: )



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