back to article US lawmakers renew fight for legal online gambling

Lawmakers have renewed their efforts to legalize some forms of online gambling with a bill that would roll back a ban on internet betting that was passed in 2006, when Republicans controlled congress. The legislation was introduced earlier this month by US Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts. It would permit the …


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  1. Christopher Ahrens

    Not that it matters...

    no one has money to gamble with anyway...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The US economy has long moved to a model of encouraging consumption without reference to any use. Investment? Forget it.

    I am not surprised (just disgusted) to see governors try to fund stuff off gambling. It is a thoroughly regressive way to raise money, but it can be politically less troublesome than raising taxes. It also in my view introduces a source of corruption; once the casino companies are in a state, will it ever be politically possible to do something they don't like?

    But I am surprised to see a liberal member from a liberal state introducing the bill.

  3. Tom


    "The bill would also allow states and Indian tribes to continue to limit or prohibit online gambling services offered to their residents."

    How are they going to do that? Kentucky don't seem to be having much luck with the current ban.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Are You Sure About Kentucky?

    Does Kentucky have any casinos at all? I didn't think they had any gambling except the horse racing, or maybe dogs too, which being a sport wouldn't really make them a good example of protectionism by banning online gambling.

    Where is the IT angle though? Surely the internet has been interwoven into our lives enough that it's not much of an IT angle merely because something is done online, since even TV and telephone calls are online now.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    RE: third-worldization

    "But I am surprised to see a liberal member from a liberal state introducing the bill."

    Liberalism has always been about personal freedom. Banning gambling is incredibly puritanical - there's nothing wrong with gambling as long as it's done responsibly.

    Mine's the one with the bookies' slip in the pocket.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @AC 20:16

    To understand what's going on here you need to know about the legislation this is designed to replace - the UIGEA, sponsored by Bill Frist and anti-democratically tacked onto the Safe Ports Bill at the very last minute, so that most representatives didn't even have time to read what they were voting on.

    The UIGEA does not prohibit online gambling per se. What it prohibits is the processing of transactions by US banks with OFFSHORE online gambling institutions. It isn't designed to stop gambling - it's designed to force Americans to gamble with the people they want them to gamble with, and keep the profits in America. It's a piece of protectionism. (And, incidentally, because it's gambling, it provides a convenient vehicle for the Christian Taliban to strut a little more of their particular brand of puritan control-freakery.)

    The ramifications have been (a) while Americans are not prohibited from gambling online, it has become beyond the competence of the average American to fund an online gambling account; (b) gambling companies which are publically traded have had to ditch their American customers, in order to reassure their shareholders that the Feds aren't going to come snuffling around. (Privately traded companies aren't affected, hence e.g. Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker continue to accept American customers, while Party Poker do not.)

    The anti-protectionists have been pushing for the UIGEA to be got rid of ever since it first came in - it is an appalling piece of legislation enacted in an appalling way - and now it's finally starting to happen, good for Barney Frank, and great timing too as it's the first day of the World Series of Poker, at which the UIGEA had driven numbers right down.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Erm... yes

    Gambling is fine, but gambling for money should be banned internationally, causes way to many social problems... which the state and taxpayers end up paying for.

    That is all

  8. Anonymous Coward

    @ Christopher Ahrens

    Actually that is not true, the company I work for has continued to see profits rise (we are not a bookmakers, just a betting "channel"

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  10. Dave


    @Christopher Ahrens

    Actually, I think you will find that it was gambling with non-existant money that caused most of the current problems.

    Secondly, the big argument against gambling is that you only get a buzz when the money is meaningful, ie when you can't really afford to lose, so lack of money is only a problem to the gambler, not to the 'house'.


    Can't quite work out whether you are being ironic or not - do you really enjoy having American tourists wandering our streets? Most people I know find them rather crass and obnoxious, but I suppose their money is always welcome, but see (a) above.

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