casinos face possible prohibition
The San Francisco
Chronicle released an article recently that focuses on an online
casinos bill, which may or may not be addressed in the Senate
This online casinos bill is designed to prevent the use of
payment instruments (credit cards, fund transfers, etc.) for
certain forms of online casinos that are defined as “unlawful
Internet gambling.” The online casinos bill requires financial
institutions to identify and block payments related to so-called
unlawful online casinos transactions. If there is a violation,
the government may file a lawsuit (known as an injunction) to
prevent or restrain the violation. The bill provides a special
exemption for three types of online casinos: (1) horse racing
under the Interstate Horse racing Act (IHA), so OTB's and
account wagering systems can remain in business, (2) Indian
gambling that takes place on a reservation or between two
reservations; and (3) Internet gambling that occurs solely
within a state’s own borders, referred to as Intra-state
The article said that inside the quiet San Francisco
headquarters of the Poker Players Alliance, a political pro
online casinos group that boasts 100,000 members, a laminated
poster hangs above the desk of executive director Michael
Bolcerek that reads "The Threat is Real."
In this case, the immediate threat to Bolcerek and his
poker-playing and online casinos visiting army is the growing
anti-gambling forces that argue the game is bad for American
family values and want to remove it from the Internet. Despite
online poker's rabid popularity -- the game now draws an
estimated 23 million Americans to online casinos every day -- it
has recently suffered some big-time legislative hits.
In June, citing concerns about underage gambling and illegal
wagers, the Washington state legislature banned online casinos,
including poker, making it the first state to effectively shut
down virtual card rooms. And in July, the House of
Representatives passed the Federal Internet Gambling Prohibition
and Enforcement Act that would prevent banks and credit card
companies from processing payments to Internet gambling sites.
Next month, the online casinos bill is scheduled for a vote in
the Senate, where it's already earned support from online
gambling foes, including California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Hence, Bolcerek's need to remind visitors that the war on online
casinos is no bluff.
"I wish they were just trying to regulate us or tax us," the
gravely voiced Bolcerek said of his opponents. "But they really
want us wiped out, gone."
"At the rate they are growing, they could become a legislative
force to be reckoned with," said Anthony Cabot, an attorney who
specializes in online casinos gaming law and is founder of the
Internet Gaming Report, a newsletter that covers technology and
online casinos gaming law. "Not as big as the NRA (the National
Rifle Association), but when you think in terms of how many
people play poker today, it's that kind of power that comes from
a grassroots organization."
The net gambling industry remains as controversial as ever even