Wednesday May 25,2016 : PENNSYLVANIAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY WARNS ON LEGALISATION OF ONLINE GAMBLING
Law enforcement official picks his time carefully to condemn legalization.
John Morganelli, the District Attorney for the Northampton County District in Pennsylvania, picked his time well for a tilt at legalised online gambling this week, ensuring it preceded a debate on the subject in the House
He rather melodramatically characterised legalization attempts as "letting loose a second lion in the pasture" in a lengthy press statement in which he tried to enlist the support of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association against internet gambling, which he claimed is an ubiquitous threat to public health and problem gambling due to its easy access.
Morganelli said that current attempts to plug the state's $1 billion budget deficit through online gambling legalization could harm society more than help it.
Such an expansion, said Morganelli, "could very well lead to Pennsylvania joining the ranks for states that have legally sanctioned gambling on all forms of personal electronic devices, including computers, tablets and smart phones.
"The privacy and seclusion online gambling offers is dangerous, as people can sit in the comfort of their homes and gamble for hours on end.
"With brick and mortar casinos, individuals have to at least get up out of their chair, navigate their way to a casino and then navigate back home."
The DA made the curious claim that because online gambling is not supervised, vulnerable segments of society especially would be at risk: including children, the mentally-impaired, problem gamblers and addictive types. And he warned that many criminal activities are tied to online gambling, including fake gaming sites, lottery scams and "winner" scams.
"Criminals have begun using the Internet as a way to broaden their base of victims," he said. "With the constant improvement in hacking techniques, it has become alarmingly easy for people to steal credit card numbers and personal identities," he said, apparently also railing against e-commerce enterprises that use online processing transactions.
In short, he appears to believe that online gambling is a vehicle for everything from criminal conduct and money laundering to encouraging underage and problem gamblers…yet he is against regulation and control in his state.
Morganelli stressed he is not anti-gambling or anti-casino: "I supported the construction of the Sands Casino in Northampton County and I have personally patronized it," he said in a reference to Sheldon Adelson's land casino in Pennsylvania.