Time to take off the pink glasses
Months after the passage of
the UIGEA and not much to look forward to from the online
lot of optimism these days surrounding the state of the Internet
gambling in the United States. To the point where you can
imagine a line of companies already forming in front of the
"online gambling license office".
And, of course, I would play the role of
the cold shower after a long night of beer and Jägermeister.
There are always two sides of the story, and OGPaper.com is just
obligated to bring you the side which is not being discussed.
What happened in the past few months, as
far as online gambling is concerned, that we are feeling so
Well, let's start with the famous
lawsuit against Alberto Gonzales, filed on behalf of a new
organization called the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming
Association (iMEGA). Besides the cool abbreviation, the website
of the organization claims to have filed a lawsuit against, I
think, Alberto Gonzales. I honestly don't know, because when I
visited their website, I saw a lot of iPhone news, but not much
about an Internet gambling lawsuit. Just a simple press release.
There was no link to the lawsuit, no
copy of the papers they filed, not even a case number. There is
not much on the website, period. You can become member of iMEGA
by paying $20.00 yearly membership, but they failed to provide
information about the benefits of the membership. And I am not
paying $20 bucks to find out.
It's obvious that iMEGA is a lobby for
online gambling operators, but I don't know or care to find out
who they are. iMEGA claims that they are seeking "Temporary
Restraints Requested to Halt Enforcement of the Unlawful
Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) and Resume
Internet Gambling", so I would assume that they work for online
gambling companies currently operating in the U.S. Really, not
enough information about this organization and their lawsuit to
make an informed decision, thus I fail to see a light at the end
of this tunnel.
Let's see, what else? Oh, yeah, Rep.
Barney Frank held a meeting to discuss his Internet gambling
bill. Poker Player Alliance posted the hearing on YouTube.
Because the video is broken into many parts,
click here to watch Part 1, and
continue from there, to see it all. As we applauded Mr. Frank
for his integrity and desire to give the people more freedom, I
am yet to be convinced that his Internet gambling bill would
change the restrictions on the online gambling industry. Other
than the commission hearing on the bill, there are no news on
when this online gambling bill would actually be voted on by the
House and the Senate.
Actually, Barney Frank's Internet
gambling bill has so many holes, I don't know why I am calling
it a bill. It's more like a "draft to further restrict Internet
gambling, while calling it the opposite". Yeah, if you actually
read the "bill", you would see a lot of "opting out" and not
much "opting in".
Which brings me to the next event, that
could be well connected with Mr. Frank. The E.U., Antigua and a
bunch of other countries are now seeking sanctions against the
USA, after a WTO panel ruled that USA is breaking the law by
banning offshore gambling websites of operating in the country,
while allowing US gambling websites to continue accepting bets
from US citizens.
Good news? Not really.
The Union will not seek re-opening of the
Internet gambling market in the U.S., but would
rather look to open other trade sectors to offset the lost of
Internet gambling revenues. And what this has to do with Barney
Frank? Well, he could kill two birds with one stone, if his bill
is passed in it's current basics. One, he would lift the burden
from the bank's shoulders. Two, online gambling would be legal
in the United States on federal level, therefore the possible
WTO sanctions would have no grounds.
If you are still here, and not
contemplating suicide, read on.
Want more "good news"? How about
the co-founder of Neteller, Stephen
Lawrence, pleading guilty to conspiracy charges?
According to the lawyers of Lawrence, he is "cooperating with
U.S. investigators". Investigating what? Neteller PLC is also
"cooperating with investigators". All these ongoing
investigations do not fit quite well in the positive spirit
being blown around.
BetOnSports PLC has agreed to plead guilty
to the federal racketeering charge. And according to some
reports, when Gary Kaplan was busted in the Dominican Republic,
he had a few fake passports on him. That sure won't help his
case, nor the online gambling image.
A couple of weeks earlier,
authorities in Utah announced charges
against seven people and four companies, including BetUS.com, in
an alleged scheme to disguise credit-card payments for Internet
And all this happened in the past couple
of months. I know, none of these sound very positive. Let me
think...Ok, I give up, I can't think of anything.
Let me know if you can make
something good out of this mess. If you excuse me, I am going to
Published on 07/02/2007