Posts Tagged ‘internet gambling regulation enforcement act’

A Little Insight on Those Who Resist Online Gambling Regulation in US

Friday, August 6th, 2010
The ERLC's Latest Anti-Gay Poster...

The ERLC's Latest Anti-Gay Poster...

And to think I used to call myself a “Christian”. Okay, wait I take that back. Not that I don’t identify with the more universal tenants of Christianity and the true message which I personally believe Jesus preached, it’s just that I can’t deny the flaws in the doctrines espoused by the greater mass of Christian religions. The same is true in other religions, and I suppose then, that perhaps the more accurate statement is, “to think I used to say I was religious” (even though I never really did).

Anyhow, before this becomes about something other than what I’m not intending it to be, let me just say that anti-online gambling resistance is being vocalized once again up on Capitol Hill. And could you guess who just might be doing all this vocalizing? The ballpark answer “Christian organizations” would indeed be correct, although a more specifically correct answer would be that of Christian and pro-family leaders, including the likes of Southern Baptist and President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), Richard Land.

Would that be religious liberty for all religions, or rather, only those which place emphasis on so-called family values? Just askin’. Oh wait, if you look a little closer on the website of the ERLC, this group is actually the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. No really, you have to look close – it’s in very small writing under the ERLC logo.

And if this is any more telling about the values of the ERLC, the “Latest Word” from the Tennessee-based ERLC blog, which let’s just call the ERLC of the SBC from now on, is that Richard Land is “disappointed that an elderly liberal has been replaced by a younger liberal” in regards to the Senate confirmation of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

Land went on to say in “His Latest Word” blog, “I don’t think most Americans share Kagan’s judicial philosophy. But Barack Obama was elected president, and he has nominated someone who shares his judicial philosophy”.

This was capped with a dose of wisdom that will likely go down in history, putting both Plato and Socrates to shame: “People should remember when they vote that elections have consequences, long-term consequences.”

Joining Land and his stand against the regulation of online gambling in the United States, not to mention black presidents, is Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council Action, Tom Minner of Focus on the Family and Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America.

Needless to say (okay, I’ll say it anyway), Mr. McClusky’s first job was with the Republican National Committee and he now represents the FRCA before Congress on a number of issues, including the sanctity of marriage. As for the FRCA’s President, Tony Perkins, he is a staunch Republican who boasts in his bio as “pioneering measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law” and “launching initiatives to affirm and defend the Judeo-Christian values America is founded upon”. That makes sense, considering the FRCA spent half-a-million dollars campaigning to ban same-sex marriage in Colorado.

As for Tom Minner, he’s not even listed on the Focus on the Family website. However, the group’s founder, Dr. James Dobson, is a staunch Republican, supporter of Sarah Palin and general Obama hater. The stated mission on the Focus on the Family website goes something like this:

“Focus on the Family is a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive. We provide help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God’s design, and for parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles. We’re here to come alongside families with relevance and grace at each stage of their journey. We support families as they seek to teach their children about God and His beautiful design for the family, protect themselves from the harmful influences of culture and equip themselves to make a greater difference in the lives of those around them.”

As for Penny Nance, I’m not sure which “concerned women” she is speaking for. It’s certainly not my wife. Let’s just say that Nance is a contributor to FOX News and that the stated mission of the CWA goes something like this: “We are focused on helping our members across the country bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy. There’s a cultural battle raging across this country and CWA is on the frontline protecting those values through prayer and action.”

In other words, the stand against online gambling regulation in the United States is basically a battle being waged by the Republican Party. Need I say more.

There are Those Who Would Stand in the Way of Regulating Online Gambling in USA

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

The fight to get online gambling legalized in the United States, or rather, getting the UIGEA online gambling ban overturned (which just so happens to be marked by carve-outs for various forms of internet wagering, such as horse racing), is far from over folks. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer or anything, but while getting Congressman Barney Frank’s Internet Gaming Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (IGREA) marked up for a vote in the Senate is a huge victory, the war – yes, it’s a war – has only just begun.

The fact remains that many U.S. politicians are opposed against regulating online gambling for one reason or another. Well, I suppose the more succinct statement is that many U.S. politicians do not understand the protocols and effectiveness of regulating online gambling. And the sad part is that many of them do not even want to understand. In other words, those politicians who represent constituents who tend to take a negative stance toward gambling, whether it be kitchen poker games or online casino gambling, will simply preach what the choir wants to hear, and ultimately, what will get them into office or reelected.

And what’s that that’s getting preached, you ask? Well, according to Idaho First District Republican candidate, Raul Labrador, it’s that regulated online gambling will “prove disastrous for families across the nation.” Besides impeaching Nancy Pelosi, Labrador believes (like a good dog), that children and adults with addictive personalities will be just “one click away from throwing thousands of dollars away.”

And while it’s more like several clicks and several faxes (just to prove identity) away from wasting your money gambling at online casinos, (see, I’m not actually refuting that you could indeed throw thousands of dollars away), Labrador and others from his camp (guess which one), refuse to see that actually regulating something will make it harder for illegal activity to take place, i.e., prohibition in the twenties.

Just like you could very well walk away a winner or a loser at a Las Vegas casino, online casinos play by the odds, which yes, are mostly in the favor of the casino. However, you might be surprised to find that the best online casinos actually offer better odds than their land-based counterparts. Just take a look at the monthly payout percentage reports to see for yourself. And if you really need to see a tangible example of online gambling actively and effectively being regulated, just look at Mother England, where the latest UK Gambling Prevalence Study still shows no increase in problem and underage gambling since online casinos were legalized in 2005.

Really folks, it’s important to know who those politicians who adamantly stand in opposition to regulating online gambling are. If you happen to reside in the district they either represent or hope to represent in an upcoming election, do your part to ensure they can’t cast a biased and uninformed vote against online gambling regulation. In the potato State, Idaho, the name is Raul Labrador. Don’t vote for him. Instead, cast your vote for Walt Minnick, who was one of the seventy co-sponsors of the IGREA.

In Light of a Bill to Regulate Online Gambling, Another Internet Bookie Goes Down

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

In light of the positive developments regarding the Internet Gaming Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (HR 2267, otherwise known simply as IGREA), which after successfully passing through the U.S. House of Representatives is to go under the knife in the Senate (I have an in-dept article about this in the works), it’s cases like the one below that reiterate why online gambling needs to be regulated in the United States.

Meet James L. Dicapo – a fifty-seven year old “businessman” from the Heart of America’s West, err, Kansas. Dicapo, whom I’m assuming is Italian, recently pleaded guilty to operating an online gambling business. Bringing in more than $3.6 million spanning approximately three years (2006-2009), this was no skimpy business either. Basically, it was your standard bookmaker getup offering phone lines for, well, betting one’s lines on a range of sports events.

These days, phone-in bookies like this are also often inclined to go the way of the Web, if you will. Sports betting online is big business, and the internet is simply helping it become bigger. But rather broadcast their services for all to see, this operation consisted of handing out toll-free digits and a website to sign up. Dicapo and three other men (also charged in the investigation) would simply handle the money, and from what I can understand, actually do the rounds and deal with customers face to face.

Dicapo has attested that the customers for whom he specifically dealt with wagered approximately $1.2 million between 2006-2009. All of this money would then be routed to an offshore business in Costa Rica (where many a sports betting business is set up, I might add). The actual wagers would go through here, and all winning bets would be paid out accordingly.

On that note, while everything Dicapo was doing was deemed illegal, this does not necessarily mean there was shady business taking place internally. In other words, Dicapo and his operation was, for all intensive purposes, a legitimate sports betting service with a base of satisfied customers. I suppose you could say satisfied “clients”, if DiCapo was dealing with a small handful of whales. That hasn’t yet been determined yet, but I’m sure it will be brought to light if that’s indeed what happened.

In relation to what’s going on with the aforementioned IGREA, you might wonder if cases like this will continue happening in the U.S. Well, to make a long story short, the answer is yes. One small provision in the IGREA is that sports betting will not be included with online poker, bingo and online casino games in having the possibility to be regulated on a State level. Online sports betting simply is illegal and will remain illegal even if the IGREA is passed into law.

But that won’t stop operations like Dicapo’s from sprouting up, many of which may not even be caught. The fact of the matter – and this is one reason why sports betting was left out of the bill – is that most sports fans love to wager. And for the millions of these folks who do not have the luxury of making trips to Vegas every time they want to make a wager, the telephone and online bookies serve as a very convenient option for placing the bets on one’s behalf

U.S. Internet Gambling Regulation & Tax Enforcement Act: The Latest Revisions

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

God Bless You Jim McDermott...You're a Damn Good Man and Politician

God Bless You Jim McDermott...You're a Damn Good Man and Politician

On the heels of a US House Committee on Ways and Means hearing this morning regarding the feasibilities of taxing online gambling in the States, it seems only fitting to shed some light on the legislation that stands the greatest chance of being passed with this end in mind.

Called the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act, this bill currently sits as a companion bill to the more widely known IGREA bill (Internet Gambling Regulation and Consumer Protection Enforcement Act), penned and touted by House Financial Services Committee Chairman, Barney Frank of Massachusetts.

The taxation companion bill’s author, Democratic Representative, Jim McDermott of Washington State, has been steadily working hard on this piece of legislation, and announced just this year he would be reintroducing the bill with several revisions, the least of which includes tax measures to encourage online gambling operators to operate on a legal basis – “legal”, meaning according to standards imposed by reg-
ulatory laws yet to be voted on by the U.S. Congress.

Obviously, that is the least of concern for anyone who is in support of regulating online gambling. First and foremost, the IGREA must be passed in order to, in effect, overturn the vaguely worded Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act – the bill that goes into effect on June 1, 2010 and which seeks to ban most forms of online gambling, including online casinos.

McDermott’s most noteworthy revisions to his bill include a revenue incentive measure for gambling-friendly State government’s and Native American tribes. This would impart a 6% rev share on all deposits that flow through them, likely operating in similar effect to Kahnawake Gaming Commission (that is, of course, if the Kahnawake Gaming Commission actually answered to federal authorities). Another recently introduced provision includes to revenue set-asides, and would designate 25% of said revenue to directly help foster care children and 0.5% toward historic preservation of the arts.

When all is said and done, the one thing that online gambling regulation in the U.S. has going for it right now is a massive federal deficit and several State’s on the verge of bankruptcy. This is precisely where taxation policy can influence the prospects of regulating online gambling by means of generating an estimated $41 billion for the federal government in ten years time. The ball is now in the court of the House Committee on Ways and Means, where pro online gambling legislation could soon be ready for markup.

USA Online Gambling Regulatory Update: Frank’s Bills Delayed; Amendments in Mass

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Currently, there are several areas in the U.S. online gambling legislative landscape that are experiencing a major upheaval. One, of course, is the overall federal stance toward online gambling as a whole in the States. The other resides on a State level, which at this time, is primarily being soaked up by Kentucky and Massachusetts. In other words, no other two States are making as many headlines in regards to online gambling legislation.

Not that I’m sick of talking about Kentucky (okay, maybe I am), it’s just that what is happening in Massachusetts is more about legislation than the legal battle currently taking place in Kentucky. As reported earlier last week here at OCS, Massachusetts is currently seeking to expand gambling. However, certain provisions slipped into the legislation would call for an outright ban of online gambling – going so far to impose a prison sentence on those who participate in online gambling.

The latest word on the street in Massachusetts is that several alternative proposals have been given to amend the legislation, including several dealing specifically with online poker. These include a provision introduced by House Representative, Robert Nyman, to provide an exception within the online gambling ban to games of skill, including online poker. Other proposals seek to ban all forms of online gambling other than online poker.

So yes, the online poker industry definitely has their fingers in this one, folks. This is no surprise considering how big online poker has become in the US over the last ten years, not to mention the lobbying power of groups like the Poker Players Alliance (PPA). Just how the final bill turns out in Massachusetts is anybody’s guess, although proponents of the original bill are already claiming victory. Their belief is that the bill will easily pass the House, and will, perhaps, see some amendments in the Senate.

As for the federal debate on online gambling, it looks like Barney Frank’s bills to overturn the UIGEA and provide regulatory guidelines is being postponed for a hearing to take place in the House Financial Services Committee. By no means up for a markup (just yet), the two bills will be scheduled for a hearing in due time as the Committee tends to previously scheduled matters.

New Hampshire Governor Open to the Prospect of Regulating Online Casinos

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Among the U.S. States whom would be interested in legalizing and taxing online gambling if the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was overturned and regulatory mandates were passed, i.e, Senator Jim McDermott and Barney Frank’s companion bills – the Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act and the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act – it’s a good bet to add New Hampshire to the list.

Governor John Lynch, who actually opposes brick ‘n mortar casino gambling and slot machines, is saying he may very well support legislation that would regulate and tax online gambling. In fact, Governor Lynch will be unveiling a plan next week to help New Hampshire close a fast-growing budget deficit during trying economic times. Of the many options in this plan, one of them is online gambling.

Lynch’s critics, or rather, those who oppose online gambling for one reason or another, have already spoken out against the prospects of regulating online gambling. On of these critics is Senator Bob Clegg, who just so happens to be a lobbyist for a golf club seeking to build a casino resort in the city of Hudson. According to Senator Clegg, “The governor is worried about proliferation of gaming, but it sounds like he’s going to make every computer terminal in every home and every BlackBerry — including those BlackBerrys held by kids in high school — a gambling facility.”

What Senator Clegg doesn’t understand however, is that when online gambling is properly regulated – as it is in the United Kingdom – minors are blocked from opening accounts at online casinos. Strict identity checks and fraud prevention protocols also prevent illegal credit card use and money laundering. And if State’s were given individual say in regulating online casinos, the minimum age could be raised from the generally accepted eighteen year benchmark, which needless to say, most land-based casinos operate by.

Of course, at this stage, Governor Lynch’s idea to regulate online gambling is nothing more than wishful thinking. If the UIGEA is permitted to come into law in June later this year, rather than being overturned, it will be black-market, underground business as usual.

Online Gambling Bills Expected to Gain Momentum: Taxes to Help Foster Children

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

With health care reform getting the green light in the United States, the online gambling industry is hoping legislators will be giving iGaming regulation a serious consideration as a resource to help fund the costly tab. And not that they haven’t already, for there are two bills currently doing the rounds in Congress and gaining momentum. If you want to get right to the point and do your part in helping online gambling become legal in the U.S., visit the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative (safeandsecureig.org).

Representative Barney Frank’s Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act aims to overturn the Conservative Christian and Republican-backed Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and lay groundwork to give individual State’s the opportunity to tax and regulate online gambling. In conjunction with Frank’s efforts, Washington State House Representative, Jim McDermott, has been pushing a regulatory licensing and taxation bill (basically, a replacement for the UIGEA) called the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act.

Now, McDermott is updating this companion bill, which was originally introduced in 2009, to include specific provisions calling for the funding of foster care. Perhaps in response to the passing of the healthcare reform bill (now Congress is not too tied up to give thought to less pressing issues), McDermott’s announcement of said changes are timely, to say the least. According to McDermott, who is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, the changes to the bill were made in response to State governments being forced to make budget cuts, resulting in cuts for social services like children’s health insurance and foster care.

Well, I personally can hardly think of a better cause than looking after children. And, McDermott’s bill does so twofold: By capturing tens of billions of dollars, thereby generating badly needed tax revenue for foster care programs (that would otherwise be lost revenue) AND by putting an end to underworld corruption in an unregulated market looking to exploit minors. Although anti-gambling proponents would have you to believe otherwise, online gambling regulation would, without a doubt, protect minors from the dangers of gambling addiction by mandating underage gambling preventive measures, not to mention identity and fraud prevention protocols. One need only look to the United Kingdom as a perfect example.

McDermott says he is currently talking with the House Ways and Means Committee to get his bill up for a hearing. When Congressman Frank’s bill is marked up by the House Financial Services Committee – a strong likelihood, although no telling when – McDermott says he will begin pushing his bill to attract more co-sponsors.