Monday May 12,2014 : BANNING BILLS UNDER FIRE AGAIN
Legalised online gambling has a good record.
The Washington Post and the Spartanburg Herald Journal both carried pieces decrying the need for online gambling bans over the weekend, pointing out that prohibiting something for which there is a strong demand simply pushes people towards a black market and makes consumers less safe.
Michelle Minton, a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, wrote:
"Politicians supporting Sheldon Adelson’s proposed online gambling ban claim to want to protect the poor and children and to prevent crime. But if they truly cared about these issues rather than getting in Mr. Adelson’s good graces, they would reject such a ban."
The writer goes on to point out that many other countries have successfully regulated online gambling for years, with few negative consequences, and that there are many technological methods for verifying a player’s age, identity and location.
Illustrating the hypocrisy of trying to selectively ban online gambling in the United States, Minton notes that two Adelson land casino operations – the Venetian and the Palazzo in Las Vegas – offer a mobile gambling app that allows players to use their smartphones to bet on sporting events from anywhere in Nevada.
"As with buying lottery tickets, the decision to gamble online ought to be left up to individuals. Its regulation ought to be decided by the states, not Congress – and certainly not by a casino magnate," she concludes.
Writing in the Spartanburg Herald Journal, Evan Mulch recounted quizzing Sen. Lindsey Graham about his federal online gambling banning proposal during a fund-raising barbeque, and asking him about his association with land casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson and a visit to a Las Vegas function hosted by the land casino owner (who is a contributor to Graham and Republican Party coffers).
Graham replied that he believed he needed to attend the Las Vegas function because Adelson was a big supporter of the Republican Party, and of Israel.
Mulch, who does not gamble but thinks an online gambling prohibition is a bad idea on economic grounds, takes exception to the reported involvement of Adelson lawyer Darryl Nirenberg in the drafting of Graham's banning bill, which was recently introduced to Congress
He questions the morality of politicians allowing their support to be bought by self-interested business personalities with deep pockets.