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Senator Jon Kyl - don't bet on legal online gambling

Senator Jon Kyl writes about the proposed online gambling bill and he is confident it would go nowhere.

Senator Jon Kyl - don't bet on legal online gamblingAccording to a piece by Senator Jon Kyl published on the the UIGEA will not be repealed.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 lottery...

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 laws."

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 corner?

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?


Related news:

 Internet gambling company 888 Holdings profits up 55%
 Analysis of Barney Frank's online gambling bill



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