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Despite dire predictions, Net gambling not changed by new U.S. law

Editorial / OpinionEditorial / Opinion: Despite dire predictions, Net gambling not changed by new U.S. law

John Brokopp
Courier-News

When President George W. Bush signed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in October, many reports gave the impression it sounded like the death knell for the multibillion-dollar Web-based gambling industry.

On the contrary, all it did was strictly regulate the process by which funds are transferred from users of the sites to the offshore companies which own and operate them. The practice itself wasn't declared illegal.

Reputable foreign companies which had conducted business with United States citizens halted operations immediately, leaving the shady fly-by-night operators to look for ways to circumvent the system. The climate is ripe for them to create an underworld business similar to what existed in this country during Prohibition.

The legality of online gambling has yet to be addressed. The major stumbling block is that it continues to be discussed in context with the 1961 Wire Act, which prohibits sports betting over telephone lines.

Forty-five years ago, the Internet wasn't even a glint in technology's eye, and during the past decade regulators and legislators have looked the other way while online gambling was allowed to grow into a multibillion-dollar industry.

Whereas persuasive arguments can be made against betting online on pure games of chance, such as slots, at issue here is poker which, because it requires an element of skill, has been regarded in some circles as a recreational pursuit that extends beyond the boundaries of gambling.

Handicapping horse races certainly resides in a similar area of gray, but the recent legislation bestows upon it special status by stipulating unlawful Internet gambling "shall not include any activity that is allowed under the Interstate Horseracing Act." That act, signed into law in 1978 and amended in 2000, sanctions the transfer of parimutuel wagers between states via telephone or other electronic means.

Here's what Greg Avioli, acting chief executive of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Breeders' Cup Ltd., said at the annual International Simulcast Conference held earlier this year in Philadelphia: "The industry is squandering an opportunity as the only legal provider of Internet gaming. We have a golden opportunity in our hands."

Avioli's suggestion was for the industry to get together and create a single online site to bet the races, which is something the giant American-based casino companies would aspire to do with online gambling, in particular poker, if politicians ever get around to being serious about taming the beast and using it as a legal source of tax revenues instead of allowing it to run rampant in an unregulated play land.

There is much at stake for perfectly legal companies that have vested interests in poker, including Harrah's Entertainment and its incredibly successful World Series of Poker, who have a large percentage of participants with ties in some way, shape or form to Internet poker sites.

Courier-News

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9 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by TheTruth.
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Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
Chief Bottle Washer
New Jersey
United States
Member #1
May 31, 2000
23277 Posts
Online
Posted: December 8, 2006, 10:57 am - IP Logged

This is what I've been saying all along, to anyone who would listen.  All the scurrying about and worrisome posts have been overreactions.  Thanks to eedith for the heads-up on the article.

 

Check the State Lottery Report Card
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Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
Help eliminate computerized drawings!

    cps10's avatar - Lottery-004.jpg
    The Carolinas - Charlotte
    United States
    Member #21627
    September 12, 2005
    4138 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: December 8, 2006, 11:03 am - IP Logged

    This is what I've been saying all along, to anyone who would listen.  All the scurrying about and worrisome posts have been overreactions.  Thanks to eedith for the heads-up on the article.

    I agree with you Todd. I still play poker every night at some very reputable sites such as Absolute, Full Tilt, etc. There is nothing wrong with playing the games, it's just that the U.S. has made it difficult to process the financial transactions (withdrawals, deposits, etc). But it can be done. Either do it the old fashioned way through snail mail, or western union or something. Many of these companies will credit your accounts with whatever fees you incurred to get the deposit to them.

    I am wondering when places like YouBet.com who deal exclusively with horse racing will lift the state bans on gambling on horses. That would make the sport more popular, especially to those states (like NC & SC) who do not have professional thoroughbred racing.

    And the poker sites...that's a no-brainer. If the government can find a way to regulate these, poker would explode much more than it ever has, because it won't be "frowned upon".

    The North Carolina Education Lottery - so much a joke that here are their mascots:

    Stooges

      Avatar
      Amarillo/Austin
      United States
      Member #1424
      April 25, 2003
      696 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: December 8, 2006, 12:42 pm - IP Logged

      Well, some common sense for a change.  The only person hurt by this was Bill Frist, who has apparently made a lot of enemies on this issue.  The politicians need to wake up and smell the 21st century!

      Orangeman                        Drum

        cps10's avatar - Lottery-004.jpg
        The Carolinas - Charlotte
        United States
        Member #21627
        September 12, 2005
        4138 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: December 8, 2006, 12:45 pm - IP Logged

        Hurt is relative I guess O'man...we all knew Frist was a dope to begin with.

        The North Carolina Education Lottery - so much a joke that here are their mascots:

        Stooges

          Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
          Chief Bottle Washer
          New Jersey
          United States
          Member #1
          May 31, 2000
          23277 Posts
          Online
          Posted: December 8, 2006, 1:18 pm - IP Logged

          Hurt is relative I guess O'man...we all knew Frist was a dope to begin with.

          Yeah, now we have to deal with all the dopes who were just put into leadership positions.

           

          Check the State Lottery Report Card
          What grade did your lottery earn?

           

          Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
          Help eliminate computerized drawings!

            LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
            Tennessee
            United States
            Member #7853
            October 15, 2004
            11338 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: December 8, 2006, 3:51 pm - IP Logged

            of course nothing has changed YET.sometime in the summer of 2007 is when the banks are going to be given the regulations and then we got to hope that we all don't get our transactions blocked.i'm being positive about the whole thing hoping the regs might get watered down.i overreacted.you want to know why?  i'm probably in the top 5 as far as money made online.the money i won online was thousands and kept me from working extra days,bought diapers,clothes,food,goodies,etc. so yes can you blame me for overreacting when i see this law passed? 

              Badger's avatar - adu50016 NorthAmericanBadger.jpg
              Wisconsin
              United States
              Member #1303
              March 27, 2003
              1508 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: December 9, 2006, 12:06 am - IP Logged

              Yeah, now we have to deal with all the dopes who were just put into leadership positions.

              Yeah, new dopes. But we don't have the old dopes. And one day, much like the infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters, we will get it right.

              ============

              How can you tell if a politician is lying?

              Answer: His lips are moving.

                Avatar
                Amarillo/Austin
                United States
                Member #1424
                April 25, 2003
                696 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: December 9, 2006, 3:27 pm - IP Logged

                LottoMike:

                Know where you're coming from.  Used to work two jobs until online gambling came along.  Now I just work three part-time jobs that I enjoy.  I do software beta testing, screen writing and sell advertising for a small weekly newspaper for an excuse to leave the house every day.  Get up at 8 a.m. and if it is cold and windy, I stay home.  All thanks to online gambling on Pick 3.  Like you, Frist and his ilk really upset me.  Neither political party gives a damn about the American people.  They are only out for themselves. 

                Orangeman                                            Thinking of...

                  TheTruth's avatar - Lottery-063.jpg
                  Detroit, MI
                  United States
                  Member #43946
                  July 27, 2006
                  365 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: December 10, 2006, 11:33 am - IP Logged

                  Mike, im in the same boat...It feels great to know you have the option to work less days (or work no more). I'm in that position, It it's been hella fun for me...I thank God for this opportunity to make money doing what I love to do instead of workign some deadbeat job because i felt i had no choict... I haven't quite yet hit your mark of thousands, but I know I will be4 the end of this month.

                  Keep your head up Mike, I think your missing the point on all of this...but if you wish to wait till 2007 to see how this "full effect" is really going to effect us then by all means do it, if it's what makes you happy (which I know it don't). All this hoopla and over what? some law that means absolutely jack?

                  To each his own, lets keep making paper online players!

                  "The happiest moment of your life will be the moment it ends...thats because it doesn't end but goes on in ways so magnificent, so full of peace - wisdom - and joy, as to make it difficult to describe  and impossible for you to comprehend"

                  God