Word From The Gambling Battlefront
Hillary Laclair, CasinoIntensity Senior Editor
Online casino aficionados will be pleased to know that the struggle to legalize internet gambling continues. For the eleven states that cater to the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act), representatives from top online casinos have enlisted the aid of defense attorneys from the Department of Justice and the American Banking Association. Those advocating for internet gambling rights have made a vital advancement in the Supreme Court ruling.
A main concern expressed by prohibitionists is that internet gambling, financed wirelessly via credit cards, encourages American citizens to spend money that they haven’t got. The thought is that this sort of activity would impede on our economy, when in fact iMEGA (the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association) was able to illustrate the financial inefficacy in the UIGEA. Currently, research shows that due to the UIGEA, the United States is being deprived of anywhere from $7 to $43 billion dollars of potential revenue. Congress Representative Jim McDermott has cited that when the act was passed, initially signed with the SAFE Port Act, the US suffered a much more substantial loss. The value of stocks in internet gaming took a nose-dive, thousands of jobs were lost, and banks were suddenly left to enforce new laws that they were never financed to handle. Instead we are forced to observe as other countries cash in on what could save our taxpayers billions. The latest court ruling stated that the bill’s criminal penalties do not apply to banks and financial transaction companies. In essence, your banks and credit unions have been given the legal right to turn the other cheek should they stumble upon a transaction made on a gambling site. That in itself is the greatest victory that the defense could have hoped to achieve. Gambling citizens everywhere eagerly await the next step.
Straying from the political spectrum of things, what is the general American consensus on internet gambling? According to an article written by Steven Crist in Washington times, in 1998 56% of Americans were shown to endorse gambling, and a mere 25% of non-gamblers claimed to have moral objection to it. Current estimates show that Americans will generate $600 billion in gambling wagers. iMEGA suggests that these extra finances could be used toward under funded social reform programs.
Because of the abundance of American gamblers, it will become increasingly difficult to enforce the UIGEA. Foreign internet gambling sites provide an indisputable loophole for gamers, as they are not obligated by law to prevent Americans from making use of their institutions. Again, the business will more than likely be sent overseas. If ever there were an appropriate time for the American sense of capitalism to surface, it’s now. In the meantime, if you are unfortunate enough to live in Michigan, Illinois, Louisiana, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Nevada, South Dekota, New Jersey or New York, there are organizations awaiting your support in the good fight.
In short, the future for online casinos bodes well. The organizations that fight for your virtual liberties are gaining support daily, and the resources for additional information can be found swarming the internet. The increasing need for an economic stimulus certainly does not hinder this concept. The hope lingers that eventually our elected officials will no longer dictate how its citizens spend their already taxable income.
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