Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 9, 2016, 9:55 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

US House on the brink of taking away online gambling rights

Online GamblingOnline Gambling: US House on the brink of taking away online gambling rights

Gamblers who prefer their laptops to blackjack tables won't like what Congress is doing.  On Tuesday, the House plans to vote on a bill that would ban credit cards for paying online bets and could padlock gambling Web sites.

The legislation would clarify existing law to spell out that it is illegal to gamble online.

To enforce that ban, the bill would prohibit credit cards and other payment forms, such as electronic transfers, from being used to settle online wagers. It also would give law enforcement officials the authority to work with Internet providers to block access to gambling Web sites.

Some opponents of the legislation say policing the Internet is impossible, that it would be better to regulate the $12 billion industry and collect taxes from it. The online gambling industry is based almost entirely outside the United States, though about half its customers live in the U.S.

Other critics complain that the bill doesn't cover all forms of gambling. They point to exemptions they say would allow online lotteries and Internet betting on horse racing to flourish while cracking down on other kinds of sports betting, casino games and card games like poker.

"If you're going to support legislation that is supposed to 'prohibit gambling,' you should not have carve-outs," said Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the conservative Traditional Values Coalition.

Other conservative and antigambling groups are supporting the legislation, sponsored by Reps. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Jim Leach, R-Iowa.

John Kindt, a business professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who has studied the issue, calls the Internet "the crack cocaine" of gambling.

"There are no needle marks. There's no alcohol on the breath. You just click the mouse and lose your house," he said.

Congress has considered similar bills several times before. In 2000, disgraced lobbyist Jack Ambramoff led a fierce campaign against it on behalf of an online lottery company.

Online lotteries are allowed in the latest bill, largely at the behest of states that increasingly rely on lotteries to augment tax revenues.

Pro-sports leagues also like the bill, arguing that Web wagering could hurt the integrity of their sports.

The horse racing industry also supports the bill because of the exemption it would get. Betting operators would not be prohibited from any activity allowed under the Interstate Horseracing Act. That law written in the 1970s set up rules for interstate betting on racing. It was updated a few years ago to clarify that betting on horse racing over the Internet is allowed.

Greg Avioli, chief executive officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, said the mention of horse racing in the bill is "a recognition of existing federal law," not a new carve-out.

He said the racing industry has a strong future in the digital age and acknowledged the bill would send Internet gamblers to racing sites. "They'd return to the one place they can bet legally," Avioli said.

That's what some critics say is unfair.

"Somehow we find ourselves in a situation where Congress has gotten in the business of cherry-picking types of gambling," complained Rep. Robert Wexler (news, bio, voting record), D-Fla. Wexler had tried unsuccessfully to include exemptions for dog racing and jai alai, both popular in Florida.

The Justice Department has taken a different view on the legality of Internet betting on horse races. In a World Trade Organization case involving Antigua, the department said online betting on horse racing remains illegal under the 1961 Wire Act despite the existence of the more recently passed Interstate Horseracing Act.

The department hasn't actively enforced its stance, but observers say it is possible the agency and the racing industry could face off in court in the future.

Regarding the House bill, Antiguan Finance Minister Errol Cort said Monday, "I'm very surprised and quite disappointed that the U.S. Congress would be pushing full force ahead."

Sen. Jon Kyl (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., is leading support for the ban in the Senate. The issue has so far not been debated in that chamber this year.

The bill is H.R.4411.

Dissenting Opinion

Ron Paul, a Republican from Texas, made it clear that banning online gambling is a terrible decision.  His dissenting views were included at the end of the original bill dated April 6, 2006.

We include his complete text here.

H.R. 4411 limits the ability of individual citizens to use bank instruments, including credit cards or checks, to finance Internet gambling. This legislation should be rejected by Congress since the federal government has no constitutional authority to ban or even discourage any form of gambling.

In addition to being unconstitutional, H.R. 4411 is likely to prove ineffective at ending Internet gambling. Instead, this bill will ensure that gambling is controlled by organized crime. History, from the failed experiment of prohibition to today's futile ‘‘war on drugs,'' shows that the government cannot eliminate demand for something like Internet gambling simply by passing a law. Instead, H.R. 4411 will force those who wish to gamble over the Internet to patronize suppliers willing to flaunt the ban. In many cases, providers of services banned by the government will be members of criminal organizations.

Even if organized crime does not operate Internet gambling enterprises, their competitors are likely to be controlled by organized crime. After all, since the owners and patrons of Internet gambling cannot rely on the police and courts to enforce contracts and resolve other disputes, they will be forced to rely on members of organized crime to perform those functions. Thus, the profits of Internet gambling will flow into organized crime. Furthermore, outlawing an activity will raise the price vendors are able to charge consumers, thus increasing the profits flowing to organized crime from Internet gambling. It is bitterly ironic that a bill masquerading as an attack on crime will actually increase organized crime's ability to control and profit from Internet gambling.

In conclusion, H.R. 4411 violates the constitutional limits on federal power. Furthermore, laws such as H.R. 4411 are ineffective in eliminating the demand for vices such as Internet gambling; instead, they ensure that these enterprises will be controlled by organized crime. Therefore I urge my colleagues to reject H.R. 4411, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act.

AP and Lottery Post Staff

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

30 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by LOTTOMIKE.
Page 1 of 3
Jimiam's avatar - ICONATOR 4af8c649273bc68ca3f95ed9dd755e65.jpg

United States
Member #39406
May 15, 2006
287 Posts
Offline
Posted: July 10, 2006, 8:23 pm - IP Logged

I should probably steer away from these topics, they tend to get me riled up and flustered. I"m usually hard to get riled up.

Jimiam

    Jimiam's avatar - ICONATOR 4af8c649273bc68ca3f95ed9dd755e65.jpg

    United States
    Member #39406
    May 15, 2006
    287 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: July 10, 2006, 8:47 pm - IP Logged

    Plus, you know it might make me a mite nervous. Plus, ever since they let me out ot the "nervous hospital"  they said don't get nervous.

    Ha ha ha ha, I'm so darn funny!

    Jimiam 

      bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

      United States
      Member #12618
      March 18, 2005
      2060 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: July 10, 2006, 9:57 pm - IP Logged

      I think banning credit cards from being used will make it hard for gamblers to play, but I'm sure there will be ways around this.

      John Kindt, a business professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who has studied the issue, calls the Internet "the crack cocaine" of gambling.

      "There are no needle marks. There's no alcohol on the breath. You just click the mouse and lose your house," he said.


      Whatever. The government doesn't care if you lose your house. They're just upset because they want a piece of the pie and are losing millions in taxes.

      Dance like no one is watching.

        JAP69's avatar - alas
        South Carolina
        United States
        Member #6
        November 4, 2001
        8790 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: July 10, 2006, 10:03 pm - IP Logged

        I think banning credit cards from being used will make it hard for gamblers to pay, but I'm sure there will be ways around this.

        John Kindt, a business professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who has studied the issue, calls the Internet "the crack cocaine" of gambling.

        "There are no needle marks. There's no alcohol on the breath. You just click the mouse and lose your house," he said.


        Whatever. The government doesn't care if you lose your house. They're just upset because they want a piece of the pie and are losing millions that they never see.

        [The government doesn't care if you lose your house]
        You are right.
        Do not pay your real estate taxes within a time frame and they will sell it out from under you in a skinny minute.
        Put you out in the street. they will

        MAGA

          konane's avatar - wallace
          Atlanta, GA
          United States
          Member #1265
          March 13, 2003
          3333 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: July 10, 2006, 10:20 pm - IP Logged

          If passed, I smell plenty of legal challenges probably all the way to the Supreme Court.  Maybe the senate will kill or at least table it indefinitely.

          Good luck to everyone!

            Avatar
            New Member
            Morris County New Jersey
            United States
            Member #41022
            June 10, 2006
            11 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: July 10, 2006, 10:42 pm - IP Logged

            I'll bet those sites will post a "Play Agreement Declaration" message where the player will have to check the "Agree" before they play, then pay via "Tel-Check", money orders or even FedEx Cash to the address that will be posted below. ROFLLLLLLLLLL

              four4me's avatar - gate1
              MD
              United States
              Member #1701
              June 18, 2003
              8364 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: July 10, 2006, 11:41 pm - IP Logged

              are they going to tell us we can't send a money order to the gambling sites. NOT

                time*treat's avatar - radar

                United States
                Member #13130
                March 30, 2005
                2171 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: July 11, 2006, 12:40 am - IP Logged

                Ron Paul is one of the few elected officials with any sense. Not just for this, but for his positions on many things. I'll be sad to see him go. If our "benefactors" want to enforce something, try our southern border. If they want to "stamp out" something, try Osama. Ahh, but that's too much like REAL work.

                In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
                Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

                  Avatar
                  Amarillo/Austin
                  United States
                  Member #1424
                  April 25, 2003
                  696 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: July 11, 2006, 12:44 am - IP Logged

                  This is another crazy idea that won't fly.  If it does and they manage to shut down gambling web sites, they should also block all "adult" sites, too.  Porn is more destructive than online gambling.

                  Orangeman                              Bash

                    BobP's avatar - bobp avatar.png
                    Dump Water Florida
                    United States
                    Member #380
                    June 5, 2002
                    3104 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: July 11, 2006, 1:48 am - IP Logged

                    If this bill gets passed they should stop advertising the U.S. as a free country where the people decide how things are done.  BobP

                      moxie's avatar - faery
                      New Member
                      Atlanta, Georgia
                      United States
                      Member #42731
                      July 7, 2006
                      9 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: July 11, 2006, 2:48 am - IP Logged

                      This is shameful and unconstitutional.  Should any form of regulation of the Internet be imposed by Congress, gambling or otherwise, then I say what's to stop Americans from using ISP's that originate outside of the US? 

                      Implementing an ISP based in a Costa Rica, Grand Cayman or Geneva is TOTALLY possible.  There are only about 10 backbone networks in the world and ISP's rent connections from those companies and sell the service to us.  Anyone can start an ISP.  I'd like to see them just try and regulate that!  Or are they going to tell me I can't shop overseas too!

                      WHAT LOSERS.  How about spending time on something a little more prudent, like GAS PRICES or the WAR maybe.

                      Rant

                      CHEERS!

                      THE MOXIE FIRECRACKERSpam

                        Saleo Paleo's avatar - Trek DS9worm3.gif
                        E-Town,Ky
                        United States
                        Member #3493
                        January 25, 2004
                        6348 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: July 11, 2006, 8:30 am - IP Logged

                        Irregardless of what they do,we shall and will find a way to play if we want,my father has been dead for several yrs now and I'll be damned if they are going to take his place and tell me what I can spend my Us Dollar on.

                        Saleo Paleo    

                          Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
                          Atlantic Mine, Michigan
                          United States
                          Member #416
                          June 23, 2002
                          1614 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: July 11, 2006, 9:25 am - IP Logged

                          I bet it is just the casino lobby trying to protect their interests.  I think it is a bunch of BS.  If it does pass there will be many legal challenges.

                          It seems a lot lately that the government of the US is really trying to restict the rights of the people.  It is kind of actually scary....we need to get rid of the Republican majority in the fall before we lose anymore rights.

                          Brad

                            LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                            Tennessee
                            United States
                            Member #7853
                            October 15, 2004
                            11338 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: July 11, 2006, 9:33 am - IP Logged

                            the united states is lost in a lot of different ways.think they'd want to block something like child porn or fight crime.but no this is very important.the whole country has been heading in the wrong direction for a while.too many important decisions made by the wrong people........