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BRITS CITED AS EXAMPLE OF SUCCESSFUL INTERNET GAMBLING
UIGEA is like 'spitting into a gale.'
The successful passage out of committee this week of Congressman Barney Frank's proposal to legalise online gambling in the United States triggered a storm of mainstream media coverage that has undoubtedly focused attention on the pros and cons of internet gambling.
One of the more interesting op-ed articles to flow from the blizzard of news appeared in the Chicago Tribune over the weekend.
Authored by Tribune editorial board member and respected blogger and columnist Steve Chapman, the piece addresses internet gambling arch-opponent and Republican politician Spencer Bachus's rather over-the-top claim that the pastime will "open casinos in every home in every bedroom and every dorm room, and on every iPhone, every Blackberry and every laptop."
Beyond ignoring the advanced technology now used in the industry to preclude underage and problem gamblers, Chapman observes that there are two good responses to the Bachus claims.
The first is that it is not the purpose of the federal government to prevent citizens from legally spending their money - however foolishly the purpose may appear to others.
"The second is: The casinos are already wide open everywhere you look," Chapman observes. "...unlimited online gambling already awaits any American with a broadband connection and a checking account. Law or no, the United States is the biggest online betting market on the planet. Americans wager an estimated $6 billion a year in cyberspace."
He goes on to quote the New York Times: "Four years ago, Congress tried to stamp out online betting by forbidding banks from transferring funds to Internet gambling sites. But it was spitting into a gale. Gamblers have used online payment processors, phone-based deposits and prepaid credit cards to circumvent the ban."
Chapman observes that the issue is not a new problem - when lots of people are eager to enter transactions with other people that do no direct harm to anyone else, the government can't realistically hope to prevent them. All the ban accomplishes is to push the industry offshore, leaving U.S. internet gamblers more vulnerable to fraud.
But, he notes, that's not all it does. It also encourages Americans to do their gambling elsewhere: going to [land] casinos (now found in 33 states), wagering at off-track parlours or buying lottery tickets peddled by state monopolies.
"The lotteries are a motive for governments to oppose legalisation of online gambling, since it might take away customers looking for better odds," Chapman points out.
"In a country where other types of gambling are permitted, there is no moral argument for excluding this kind. But gambling critics depict the Internet as a dark abyss leading the unwary to their doom - by making access so easy, we are told, virtual wagering will create hordes of new gambling addicts.
"It's easy to forget that in the old days, opponents denounced casinos for luring bettors into dimly lit bunkers where they would fall victim to card sharps, leggy waitresses and rivers of booze.
"Now the same opponents suggest that Luxor Las Vegas is far safer than that den of vice you call home."
The article claims that fears regarding online wagering are demonstrably bogus, and argues that Britain is a good example to prove this.
The UK legalised Internet betting in 2005, and the government's 2007 survey found that while 68 percent of Brits place bets each year, only 0.6 percent of the population falls into the category of "problem" gamblers. That number has not budged since 1999.
Chapman concludes: "In the end, there is no good reason for the federal government to prohibit citizens from engaging in a peaceful, popular and enjoyable activity that almost all of them can handle responsibly. Nor is there any point, since those citizens are going to do it anyway.
"Congress would be wise to accept that age-old reality and settle for harvesting the tax revenues Internet betting can generate."
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2017 Aussie Millions Event 1 -
The Melbourne-based player bested a field of 1,565 entries - 245 up on last year's equivalent - to end up in the heads up with New Zealnad's Qiang Fu, but not before both he and Qiang had narrowly escaped at the four-handed stage when they were the low stacks.
Swiss Reject idea to Block Gambling Websites -
The Legal Affairs Committee of the Swiss National Council has nixed new regulations which would have blocked access to online gambling sites in Switzerland, according to local media reports Tuesday.
Growth Ahead For Online Gambling -
Transparency Market Research has issued a teaser on its latest international online gambling and betting survey, forecasting that the industry will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.8 percent by 2024.
New Qubit software For SkyBetting -
#qubit Sky Betting & Gaming aims to top its record 50 percent revenue growth last year with new player differentiation software and expertise provided by the Qubit company.
Slotfather II Slot Launching -
#betsoft The first is a sequel to the popular gangster-themed online slot Slotfather, unsurprisingly titled Slotfather II, whilst the other is a new 243 ways-to-win game titled Fa Fa Twins..
Massachusetts Online Lottery Bill -
Flanagan's confidence was clearly boosted by the bill's success in the Senate last year, although it was not developed by the House and ran out of time.
Italy Doing Well With Online Sports betting -
The latest numbers from the Italian regulator show that online sports betting remains king when it comes to internet gambling in the market, generating Euro 391.8 million in turnover in December 2016.
Michigan To Reintroduce Online Gambling Bill -
#Michigan state Sen. Mike Kowell's staff have confirmed that the senator plans to reintroduce his online gambling legalization bill, which failed to make it through the last legislative season.
MGM Buys DC office building For lobbying team -
#MGM Resorts International has bought a new Washington, D.C., office building for its in-house lobbying team, led by former chief counsel to the now retired Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, Ayesha Khanna.
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