How many politicians does it take to change an
Internet gambling bill?
The answer is obviously "a lot", taking in
consideration the latest adventures of the Internet gambling
around the Congress.
all know about the famous "Internet Gambling Regulation
Enforcement Act of 2007" by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass), which
was sold as "it would repeal the UIGEA", but it turned out to do
no such thing.
Recently we woke up to another "online
gambling bill". This time Rep. Shelley Berkley (D- Nevada) is
pushing a bill proposing that the National Academy of Sciences
carry out an independent one-year study of online gambling to
find evidence against the unpopular Unlawful Internet Gambling
Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which was signed into law last October.
Rep. Berkley was quoted saying: "One of the
advantages of this legislation is that it doesn't take a side.
It doesn't say Internet gambling is good or bad. It says 'Let's
study the issue.'"
Fine. Study the issue if you want. But don't
try to sell it to me. There are literally hundreds of studies
done on the Internet gambling; since 2000 the anti-gambling
cronies have been studying the online gambling. Many other
countries have done the same.
And what did we find out over the years? We
found out that all the studies done with the help of any
politician find Internet gambling "bad". Usually due to the lack
of tax revenue, but masked very clever under "underage gambling"
and "gambling addiction", both things bad, of course, but both
existing on state lottery level in much larger scale. Both
issues well taken care of on the online gambling side - you need
a credit card to deposit online, directly or via an e-wallet,
and credit cards are not issued to underage citizens of the USA.
Also, all of the online gambling websites and e-wallets have set
weekly or monthly spending limit. This is a fraud prevention
measure, but sure as hell works for preventing the average
over-spender to turn into an addict.
Yeah, they have a good way of spinning things
around. Remember the study on the Parkinson's disease treatment?
It was a study which found out that some Parkinson's disease
medicines may lead to addictions such as gambling, shopping and
sex, but the study was immediately portrayed as "Internet
gambling dangerous to Parkinson's patients".
Not to mention that the only time you will see
a reference to an Internet gambling study by the legislators is
when they want to show "the bad side" of gambling online.
And even if Berkley's study finds out that
online gambling is actually just an adult form of entertainment,
then what? A whole year gone by and all we have to show is a
study. What are we going to do with this study? Put it in a
frame and hang it over our desks?
Oh, we are starting a dialog...Thank God for
"starting a dialog on the issue"! It took Mr. Kyl 6 years of
dialog to pass an anti-online gambling bill, how long do you
think the dialog for a pro-online gambling bill would last?
We don't need more dialog on Internet
gambling. We don't need more Internet gambling bills. What we
need is Internet gambling patrons taking this (UIGEA) bill to
the Supreme Court and defeat it. The adult industry has done it,
with the 1998 "Child Online Protection Act" (yes, again, very
nice title by the representatives of the country, but the basic
was - no nude stuff on the Internet). And, yes, the Supreme
Court ruled based on the First Amendment. The danger to minors
from online pornography is much more real than online gambling -
we all know what kids can see, we have all seen it. Can you sign
up to a German online adult website in the US? Of course you
can. So why shouldn't Americans be able to sign up on online
gambling websites based in the U.K.?
So to all the online gambling operators out
there making good money - why don't you get together and take
the UIGEA to court? The odds are 1/1 that you will win the case.
And an advice to all the affiliates, online
gambling company owners and poker players alike - submitting
petitions - that's all good, but it will get you nowhere. If you
want to change something - contact the
American Civil Liberties Union.
We need a repeal of the UIGEA because it directly cuts off our
freedom of speech and freedom to spend our money however we
like, as long as we do not harm others, and not just because we
cannot play poker anymore or bet $5 at the online blackjack