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