With Barack Obama now the uncontested presidential candidate for the Democrats, speculation is turning toward whether he would be a better proposition for the online gambling industry in the USA than his opponent, Republican John McCain.
The Sports Memo.com website carried an interesting article on the subject this week, considering the track records of both men, and pointing out that McCain has opposed the legalization of sportsbetting on college athletics, even in Nevada.
The site quotes material from ESPN in support of its assessment as follows:
"McCain wants to eliminate what he sees as the most troubling aspects of legalized gambling in the United States. He has led the fight to ban gambling on college sports, a battle the Nevada casinos have won (so far), in part by suggesting that he would make Super Bowl and NCAA pools illegal.
"And McCain would ban Internet gambling – not because it’s addictive, but because players typically have no way of knowing whether they are in fair games."
Sports Memo carries an cautionary quote from Senator McCain, presumably speaking to ESPN: "I’ll give you a little straight talk. There’s going to have to be another scandal, and there probably will be." That’s McCain: waiting for the next, inevitable burst of bad news to come along, to present an opportunity not only to excoriate wrongdoers but to corral the powerful into doing right. To take another step toward saving sports."
Looked at from the Democrat angle, Sports Memo opines that the legalization of online sports betting is not a big issue in the Obama camp, and he has not gone on record supporting it. But he has at least not actively attacked it, either. He's a poker player who has supported the idea of an independent study of the online gambling industry to assess its impact and how it could be regulated to protect players.
Sports Memo also quotes US law academic Professor I. Nelson Rose, who is an authority on Internet gambling legal matters and opines: "When the Democrats took control of the Senate, Harry Reid, senator from Nevada, became majority leader. Therefore, land-based casinos, which want a study and law allowing them to operate Internet casinos, can get those, if the President is a Democrat. If John McCain wins…nothing will change.
"Assuming Barack Obama … wins, the Democrats will keep control of Congress and there will be a change in the federal law. It might come as early as 2009. More likely, it won’t be until 2010, or even later.
"For political cover, there could be an objective, scientific study done first [as supported by the American Gaming Association], that proves that Internet gambling can be kept safe from hackers, protecting the "vulnerables" (children and compulsive gamblers), and that states that don’t want to allow can be blocked."
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