Senator Jon Kyl - don't bet on legal online
Senator Jon Kyl writes about
the proposed online gambling bill and he is confident it would
to a piece by Senator Jon Kyl published on the
NationalLedger.com the UIGEA
will not be repealed.
Mr. Kyl with his article is
trying to make strong case against online gambling, focusing on
the recent gambling bust in Arizona and three other states (read
story here), and for some reason blaming it on Internet
gambling. We don't get the point - is Mr. Kyl saying that if
online gambling did not exist there would be no illegal
Mafia-style gambling rings operating throughout the country?
Just because some of the crooks used online gambling sites to
place the bets, it would be like blaming GM for building the
vehicle a bank robber used as a get-away.
Senator Jon Kyl also focuses
on online poker, claiming that it is the most popular form of
gambling among the youth, quote:
"Online poker is currently
the most addictive form of gambling activity among American
youth. The National Annenberg Risk Survey of Youth (ages 14 to
22) over the last few years has identified rising trends in
poker and Internet gambling as significant and worrisome."
Well, while we are on the
youth and Arizona, Mr. Kyl, did you know that according to the
Arizona Office of Problem Gambling's Youth Survey of 2006, out
of more than 60,000 students (grades 8 through 12) surveyed,
13,117 were frequent gamblers and 92.4% have never gambled on
the Internet? And only 69.4% have never played the lottery or
scratch tickets? It seems to me that in Arizona the most
addictive form of gambling among the youth is the state
In that same article, Jon Kyl
claims that UIGEA does not make online gambling illegal, and
that, quote: "Online gambling is already illegal under
existing federal and state laws. The UIGEA simply provides the
legal mechanisms necessary for authorities to enforce those
It's known that a few states
explicitly ban online gambling (such as Washington), but we have
never heard of any federal law explicitly prohibiting Internet
gambling, prior to the UIGEA which made the offshore online
gambling websites illegal.
And yet another quote from
that article: "Until recently, authorities were forced to
search for other violations – in this particular case, money
laundering and extortion – to go after criminals trying to evade
our laws prohibiting gambling over the Internet."
If Internet gambling was
prohibited by laws before the UIGEA, why don't charge those
"criminals" under those existing laws? It just makes no sense.
And to call companies, licensed by the USA's best ally - the
U.K., criminals is just plain wrong. How can there be a
comparison between a company which is publicly traded on the
London Stock Exchange, publishes financial reports and pays
dividends to its shareholders, and the drug dealer on the
The hardest hit online poker
companies by UIGEA were those licensed and publicly traded in
the United Kingdom, an ally and a valuable trade partner of the
USA - those we label criminals. Yet, a company in communist
China is able to add an ingredient in our pet food, and possible
human food, which was the cause of the largest pet food recall
in US history.
And if online gambling is so
detrimental to the citizens of this country, why not make it
illegal across the board? Why online betting on horse races is
legal, online lotteries are legal, but online poker is a crime?
Is there a difference between betting on a horse to win a race
and betting on a team to win a game?