This is part 1 of a multipart series of articles regarding proposed anti-gambling legislation. In this article I discuss the proposed legislation, what the politicians say it does, some facts about the current state of online gambling, and what the bills really propose.The legislators are trying to protect us from something, or are they? The whole thing seems a little confusing to say the least.The House, and the Senate, are once again considering the issue of “Online Gambling”. Bills have been submitted by Congressmen Goodlatte and Leach, and also by Senator Kyl.The bill being put forward by Rep. Goodlatte has the stated intention of updating the Wire Act to outlaw all forms of online gambling, to make it illegal for a gambling business to accept credit and electronic transfers, and to force ISPs and Common Carriers to block access to gambling related sites at the request of law enforcement.Just as does Rep. Goodlatte, Sen. Kyl, in his bill, Prohibition on Funding of Unlawful Internet Gambling, makes it illegal for gambling businesses to accept credit cards, electronic transfers, checks and other forms of payment, but his bill does not address the placement of bets.The bill submitted by Rep. Leach, The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, is basically a copy of the bill submitted by Sen. Kyl. It focuses on preventing gambling businesses from accepting credit cards, electronic transfers, checks, and other payments, and like the Kyl bill makes no changes to what is currently legal.According to Rep. Goodlatte “While gambling is currently illegal in the United States unless regulated by the states, the development of the Internet has made gambling easily accessible. It is common for illegal gambling businesses to operate freely until law enforcement finds and stops them.”In fact, American courts have determined that the Wire Act makes only Sports Betting illegal, and even then only across telephone lines. Very few states have laws that make online gambling illegal, some states and Tribes have taken steps to legalize online gambling, and even the Federal government recognizes some forms of online gambling as being legal.Goodlatte himself says his bill “cracks down on illegal gambling by updating the Wire Act to cover all forms of interstate gambling and account for new technologies. Under current federal law, it is unclear whether using the Internet to operate a gambling business is illegal”.Goodlatte’s bill however does not “cover all forms of interstate gambling” as he claims, but instead carves out exemptions for several forms of online gambling such as state lotteries, bets on horse racing, and fantasy sports. Even then, his modifications to the Wire Act do not make online gambling illegal, they make it illegal for a gambling business to accept online bets where a person risks something of value “upon the outcome of a contest of others, a sporting event, or a game predominantly subject to chance”, except of course if it is a state lottery, horse race, fantasy sports, or one of a few other situations.The truth of the matter is that most online gambling businesses have located in other countries specifically to avoid the gray area that is the current state of online gambling in the US. As a result, there is little that law enforcement can do to enforce these laws. Trying to make the laws tougher, and providing for stiffer penalties, will not make them easier to enforce.As well, most, if not all, banks and credit card companies refuse to transfer money to an online gambling business now, as a result of pressure from the federal government. As a result, alternative payment systems sprang up to fill the void.Senator Kyl is equally misleading in his statements. From his proposed bill, “Internet gambling is primarily funded through personal use of payment system instruments, credit cards, and wire transfers.” But as we already know, most credit cards in the U.S. refuse attempts to fund a gambling account.Also from the Kyl bill, “Internet gambling is a growing cause of debt collection problems for insured depository institutions and the consumer credit industry.” If the credit card companies and other financial institutions in the U.S are not allowing the funding of gambling, how can it be “a growing cause of debt collection problems”. And since when do we need legislation in order for the financial industry to protect itself from high risk debt. If the financial industry was accepting gambling debts and these gambling charges were a problem for them, wouldn’t they just stop accepting them?Like Rep. Gooddlatte, Rep. Leach and Senator Kyl carve out exemptions for betting on horse racing, for fantasy sports and for buying and selling securities. Unlike Rep. Goodlatte however, Rep. Leach and Sen. Kyl do not exempt state lotteries from their prohibition of online gambling.In the next article, I will begin to cover some of the issues raised by politicians who are against online gambling, and provide a different perspective to their rhetoric.
Gambling in the last century has become a global phenomenon. From a pastime to a full fledged industry, gambling has seen the ups and the downs of the gamblers as well as the countries. Gambling can be conveniently called as one constant phenomenon happening throughout the world. Glamorous gambling was earlier confined to the hottest spots of all Las Vegas. But as a matter of fact gambling had long back crossed the boundaries of United States of America and had secured its footing in many other countries of the world. Today one may come across a gambling extravaganza at the most unexpected places.No one had ever heard of a small country Aruba. But it has come up as a great destination for the gambling lovers. Set up in a exotic coastal location Aruba offers from five star hotels to top spas for the gambling freaks. The relaxation in the age for playing games at Aruba has made it an even more sought after destination.Apart from the sun, surf and sand California is fast becoming a got spot for the gamblers. The overflow of gamblers from the Las Vegas and other heavy gambling areas come here to enjoy the holidays apart from their gambling objectives. Apart from the indigenous tribal casinos and the traditional casino set ups California is also coming up with the new age luxurious resorts for the gamblers.The Egyptian experience can be had at the Las Vegas casinos. But the fact is that Egypt is attracting heavy gambling traffic towards it self here the grandeur of Egypt stands in all its dignity and valor. Egypt having a lot of historical importance attracts a lot of tourists from all over the world. And travel gambling is fast becoming a favored trend. With casinos open for twenty four hours, it is soon going to become a dream destination. All the five star hotels have put up their best shows in all parts of Egypt and it has come as a surprise gambling destination. A breather for sure! The Asian gambling scenario was marred by the fact that in China gambling is illegal and thus the Asian tourist had to travel far off to Vegas. But with upcoming gambling locations such as Macau and Singapore thins are changing. The most happening place as far as the nocturnal life is concerned is Philippines. The place forms a perfect setting for the casinos and gambling clubs to flourish.Monaco has its distinctive style and serene environment to support most tourists and attract them. But with attachments like gambling the in flow has become multifold. The beautiful city of Monte Carlo has some of the fabulous casinos and they are attracting many tourist gamblers towards it.Likewise there are many centers of gambling coming up. The customers also are now having high expectation fro these new destinations, having played at Las Vegas. These new destinations will not only have to face giants like Steve Wynn of Las Vegas but also the up coming destinations to maximize their popularity. The more they can serve for less the better the prospects are. It’s all up to the casino owners.