alanwilliamson

US Congress bans online gambling

 US Congress has seen fit to pass a bill to crack down on Internet gambling, leaving it up to that clown of a president to just sign it.  If he can easily sign off to go to war under the veil of terrorism and then 4 years later admit that it had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 then we can be safe in the knowledge he'll have no problems in signing this bill. 

After all, dear George is our bible-thumping leader of the free world and any excuse to rid the world of another immoral sin gives him another leg up when he reaches the pearly gates.  Although I am not quite sure how Haliburton is going to benefit from this particular bill passing.

At any rate, being a UK citizen and living in a country where we are going the opposite way of actually legalising gambling I am dumbfounded at how the US works at times.  How do states like Nevada survive?  Not only can you legally get a blow job, but you can also legally place a bet on who will actually do it for you!  As an outsider looking in, America is full of contradictions.  How can a country that is built on the very premise of freedom and liberty, take such a puritan approach on certain wide ranging issues yet not deal with some of the real problems?  Why is the online industry suddenly the bad boys were the casinos of the country go untouched?  No logic.

"Despite the Bill’s prescriptive nature, it excludes local online betting on horseracing, fantasy leagues and lotteries. It also has no impact on the hundreds of casinos and gambling emporia that dot America, ranging from the neon palaces of Las Vegas and Atlantic City to the riverboat casinos that ply their trade on the Mississippi."
 
One senior internet gambling executive said last night: “This is the worst form of protectionism I have ever seen. This will drive internet gambling underground and consumer protection will go out of the window. The religious groups that lobbied for this may live to regret it.”
 
"This last minute deal reeks of political gamesmanship. The American people should be outraged that Congress has hijacked a vital security bill with a poker prohibition that nearly three fourths of the country opposes. Allowing this bill to become law would run contrary to public opinion and would damage an already fractured relationship between government and the electorate." from PokerNews
 
"The United States is moving in an opposite direction concerning this issue compared to the rest of the world. The United Kingdom recently moved to tax and regulate online gambling sites, and the European Union had made it clear that it considers online gambling a product that should be allowed to be freely traded." from CardPlayer

Banning online gambling will simply drive the business underground, where it cannot be taxed, regulated or even monitored. A complete industry will be legally wiped out when this law goes into force.  But rest assured it will not disappear.   The bill makes it illegal for banks and credit card companies to take money for betting online.  This includes playing poker.  A sport that has found a huge surge in popularity is now going to drive a lot of honest, tax paying, players away.  There is even talk that the bill extends to make ISPs ban accessing gambling sites.

The $6billion industry is in a bit of confusion this morning as it tries to evaluate what to do next.  I have a lot of US friends (java champions, company executives, developers and god-fearing church goers) who play regularly online poker will be thinking what to do next.  These are the people that this will hurt the most, the honest taxpayer.

I never use to worry too much what was going on in the news, but of late, I am becoming increasingly angry at being told what I can and cannot do.  What sort of world are we heading for when our civil liberties are slowly being eroded because we have to work to the lowest common denominator.  Its things like these that motivate me to get involved.

Start lobbying your representatives , because from what I can see, they are not representing us at all.

For the full bill read: http://www.rules.house.gov/109_2nd/text/hr4954cr/hr49543_portscr.pdf


 

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