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House votes to limit Internet gambling


Blondie

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Uh oh you gamblers!!!

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/071206dnbusgambling.1b7be04.html

House votes to limit Internet gambling

07:25 PM CDT on Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The House passed legislation Tuesday that would prevent gamblers from using credit cards to bet online and could block access to gambling Web sites.

The legislation would clarify and update current law to spell out that most gambling is illegal online. But there would be exceptions – for state-run lotteries and horse racing – and passage isn't a safe bet in the Senate, where Republican leaders have not considered the measure a high priority.

The House voted 317-93 for the bill, which would allow authorities to work with Internet providers to block access to gambling Web sites.

Critics argued that regulating the $12 billion industry would be better than outlawing it. Said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., "Prohibition didn't work for alcohol. It won't work for gambling."

The American Gaming Association, the industry's largest lobby, has opposed online gambling in the past but recently backed a study of the feasibility of regulating it.

The Internet gambling industry is headquartered almost entirely outside the United States, though about half its customers live in the U.S.

Reps. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Jim Leach, R-Iowa sponsored the bill. They successfully beat back an amendment to strip out exemptions in the legislation for the horse racing industry and state lotteries.

Goodlatte called that "a poison pill amendment," aimed at defeating the larger bill.

Supporters of the measure argued that Internet betting can be addictive and can lead people to lose their savings.

Leach said the problem is particularly acute for young people who are frequently on the Internet. "Never before has it been so easy to lose so much money so quickly at such a young age," he said.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., pushed for removal of the exemptions. She said it was unfair to allow online lotteries and Internet betting on horse racing to flourish while cracking down on other kinds of sports betting, casino games and card games like poker.

Supporters of Internet gambling agreed.

"They call it a prohibition. It's really Congress picking winners and losers," said Michael Bolcerek, president of the Poker Players Alliance, a San Francisco-based group that opposed the bill.

Congress has considered similar legislation in the past.

In 2000, disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff led a fierce campaign against it on behalf of an online lottery company. Supporters of the bill brought up that history Tuesday and suggested that a vote for the bill was a way to make a statement against Abramoff's influence.

However, the lottery exemption wasn't in the bill back in 2000. If it had been, Abramoff's client probably would have backed the bill. Online lotteries are exempted this time around at the behest of states.

Under the provision that relates to horse racing, betting operators would not be prohibited from any activity allowed under the Interstate Horseracing Act. That law was written in the 1970s to set up rules for interstate betting on racing. The industry successfully lobbied for legislation several years ago to clarify that horse racing over the Internet is allowed.

Greg Avioli, chief executive officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, said the mention of horse racing in the bill is merely "a recognition of existing federal law."

Avioli said the racing industry has a strong future in the digital age and suggested the bill would send Internet gamblers to racing sites and away from the banned sites.

The Justice Department has taken a different view on the legality of Internet betting on horse races. In a World Trade Organization case involving Antigua, the department said online betting on horse racing remains illegal under the 1961 Wire Act despite the existence of the more recently passed, and updated, Interstate Horseracing Act.

The department hasn't actively enforced its stance.

Like the racing industry, professional sports leagues also like the bill. They argue that Web wagering could hurt the integrity of their sports.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., is leading support for the ban in the Senate. The issue has not been debated in that chamber this year, and the measure hasn't been identified by Senate leaders as a top priority.

If the horse provision were stricken from the bill, there's a good chance the measure would run into objections from Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and others from racing states.

Blondie

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1) OK, explain to me how

  • Online gambling on the NFL = Bad
  • Online gambling on horses = Good
  • Online poker = Bad
  • Online lotteries = Good

2) And why am I suspecting the Abrahamof and a bunch of Indian casinos are in favor of this bill, because it cuts down their competition?

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1) OK, explain to me how
  • Online gambling on the NFL = Bad
  • Online gambling on horses = Good
  • Online poker = Bad
  • Online lotteries = Good

2) And why am I suspecting the Abrahamof and a bunch of Indian casinos are in favor of this bill, because it cuts down their competition?

Don't look for any logic, Larry. This bill is all about looking tough on gambling while actually doing as little as possible ... I don't blame them though, because I think that's the actual stance of the American people: "They have gambling on the internets? We best be keepin' close watch on that..."

I think the casinos are actually in favor of online gambling now that they've realized it brings more people to Vegas. All 3 Nevada Congressmen voted against the bill.

Lucky for me, I starting playing online poker back in 2000 when you could just type in your credit card number directly to the site, and I haven't made a deposit since ... Of course now I'm reluctant to ever take any money out because it looks like it will get increasingly difficult to ever put money back in.

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yes, and they are going to do it through controlling ISPs

They are gonna then have to figure away to argue that they can controll who shines their satelite at you, thats gonna be the interesting part. I think its funny people think that virtue can win over vice, its not even a fair fight.

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I'm glad they got rid of the credit card deal, where you could just use your credit card to gamble with.

I always thought that was a bad idea.

Are they really going to cut off poker sites?

The interesting thing is, credit card companies stopped allowing these payments by the end of 2000. The reason for that is that most states have laws banning law suits to collect gambling debts, so if you gambled on your credit card, there was no way for the credit card company to force you to pay.

The federal law actually does nothing in this respect, because credit card companies and state laws have already taken care of it.

...And even when the credit card thing went down, casinos accepted PayPal for a while ... until EBay bought PayPal and stopped doing the gambling business. Then Netteller really started to dominate that market. In the past two years or so, credit card companies have started to stop payments to Netteller, but people just do direct deposits from their bank accounts.

Congress is already way behind on this front, and whatever they try to do, there's going to be a way around it ... online poker has just become too big to stop right now.

Even if American ISP's start banning Poker IP's, it's pretty easy to create proxy servers to work around that - we'll basically have to start using the same technology that lets the people circumvent the filters in Communist China.

Legislators are really fighting a losing battle here ... it's really much more about acting like you're doing something rather than actually doing something ...

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Funny thing is that there is already a way around this. You go to someone like neteller.com and deposit the money then use that account to gamble (for a small fee of course).

I'll bet there was a party in the neteller board room at the news of this vote. Hell, they probably lobbied FOR it. :laugh:

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The thing that gets me is how blatent their self serving policies are. Gambling when the government gets the money is ok. The stones on these guys. Not even an attempt to cover their tracks. I truly believe, with respect to either party, this is what happens when one of em holds all the cards. NPI. They lose all perpective. :doh:

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RUN the regulation monster is here and it's only just begun to eat away at what you can do now. Enjoy a really "free" internet while it lasts, soon it will be free like driving is free - you are free to stay within the lines and move at the speed they tell you... but feel free to change the radio.

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Alot of clueless replies here. Billions of dollars are being stolen, credit card fraud is pampant from people reloading into gambling sites. There is absolutely no regulation or monitoring of these places, they can essentially do whatever they wish with your money, and shut down tomorrow. This time Congress did the right thing, it still must pass the Senate.

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