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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.

How many politicians does it take to change an Internet gambling bill?We 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 table.


Related news:

 The lobbying for the Internet gambling regulation is on
 Rep. Barney Frank outlines his online gambling bill



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