Sunday, 25 July 2010

Christian Values

Some people really need to start enjoying this life, or perhaps more importantly, learn to keep their noses out of what other people do in the privacy of their own homes and allow them to enjoy their lives. This is the only one we get. Not content with telling us who we can sleep with, Christians are now using scare tactics to try and stop US residents from being able to enjoy an online bet.

Fresh from fixing Wall Street’s casinolike ways in high finance, Congress begins work Tuesday on a bill to overturn a 2006 law banning Internet gambling in the US. [Idiots - the law does NOT ban Internet gambling, but outlaws financial transactions involving online gambling service providers.] The measure is being rushed through the House Financial Services Committee on a promise that it would create 30,000 jobs and billions in tax revenue.

President Obama hinted at his support for online gambling last year by delaying regulations under the 2006 law in order to give Congress time to change it. The regulations force American credit firms to block payments to offshore gambling operators.

What’s exactly behind this drive to expand gambling in the US, especially a type done privately in the home rather than in a casino? Obviously there is the lure of money for both the government and the campaign coffers of politicians supporting this bill. (The same lure drives efforts to legalize marijuana.)

But as former federal prosecutor Michael Fagan told the House panel marking up the bill: “Any parent who’s puzzled or despaired over their child’s trancelike playing of video games during the past 20 years can readily see why Internet gambling operators are drooling over the chance to legally expand their market base into the United States.”

This foreign lobby and its domestic supporters want Congress to gloss over the negative effects of allowing gambling on every smart phone and laptop, where even a 10-year-old with a parent’s credit card might be able to wage bets at any time of day.

“It’s ‘click the mouse, lose your house,’ ” states business professor John Kindt of the University of Illinois.

Weeding out gambling addicts on the Internet can also be very difficult. As Mr. Fagan points out: “At least responsible brick-and-mortar casino operators can look a gambler in the eye and make the human assessment of whether he is too drunk, mentally unhinged, despondent and desperate, or otherwise at a point where it is simply unfair to take advantage of him any longer.”

The proposed law would also likely prove weak in preventing gambling on sports. The pressure on athletes from gaming interests to throw a game would only increase under national Internet gambling.

The estimates of up to $42 billion a year in tax revenue from Internet gambling have been seriously challenged by the bill’s opponents. But beyond the advantage to the US Treasury, Spencer Bachus, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, asks: “How does raking in cash from gambling addicts differ from taking a cut from the heroin sold to drug addicts?”

Other problems may hopefully keep this bill from passage:

It sets down a federal right to gamble and undercuts the ability of states and Indian tribes to regulate gambling. It doesn’t require operators of such sites to reside in the US where they can be properly regulated – and prevented from using computers to manipulate online players. And while states would be able to opt out of this law, the bill calls on only the governor to make that decision, and within 90 days of the bill’s passage.

If foreign online gambling interests can easily influence passage of this bill, imagine what it might do to eventually water down regulations over their industry.

The House Financial Services chairman, Rep. Barney Frank, needs to drop this bill and find other ways to raise revenue and create jobs than open the door to redistributing wealth from mainly poor Americans to mainly foreign gambling interests.
Rep. Barney Frank needs to make sure this bill passes, and tell Christians that they are not being forced to have a bet if they don't want to have one. Perhaps he can next work on passing a bill to remove the tax exempt status that religious groups enjoy in the USA.

In other news, does this punishment below make ANY sense to anyone?
In a bill to allow three brick-and-mortar casinos in the Bay State, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick has proposed two-year jail terms and a $25,000 fine for folks caught gambling online. Congressman Barney Frank, who wants federal legislation to regulate online gambling, asks, "Why is gambling in a casino OK and gambling on the Internet is not?"

Gambling and porn are two of the most consistent moneymakers in the world. Porn is, for the most part, perfectly legal and can be purchased online with a credit card. Gambling, including sports betting and poker, is a little more tenuous. In the United States, most credit-card companies will not allow betting to be made on a credit card, forcing players to use overseas services such as Neteller instead. Because of the lack of regulation, if players are cheated, they have little or no recourse. Some online gambling sites are publicly traded on European stock exchanges — here in the U.S. though, the offline casino monopoly is enforced through fiat by the government.


Anonymous said...

what a moron you are. I used to enjoy this blog but now every second article is about you and your anti - religion stance.

I am a gambler and hence the reason why I have enjoyed most of your thoughts and idea's on gambling and sport related topics.

But to be honest I am sick of your anti religion post which are becoming more frequent as each week passes and I don't particular care whether you are anyone else is religious/believe's in God etc.

I come to this blog to read about gambling/sports etc but if it continues down the path this blog has recently being taken I will chose to read elsewhere.

This I know will not affect you in the slightest but thought I would share my opinion as a neutral, longterm reader of your blog

Anonymous said...

p.s. can you confirm if you post on the geeks forum as nigel? You seem to have a very similar style, both old guys with thai brides and very opinionated

Anonymous said...

American here, thus I recognize religion is a legitimate topic of conversation on this blog.

Cassini is correct, liquidity would be greatly improved if the religious right here in America would stop legislating their religious beliefs (not facts) onto others.

In fairness, religious zealots are only part of our problem, as governments trying to protect their own gambling monopolies and southerners trying to protect their horse industry are also holding us back here in the "land of the free"

One irony (of many) is in much of the USA, govt run lotteries, keno, scratch tickets, casinos, bingo, pickle cards, horses etc which have odds stacked against the consumer are legal, while games of skill such as on-line sports betting/trading, poker are not legitimized.

But Cassini is correct, religion is a legitimate topic in this forum as they have and continue to legislate their "values" onto us.

Ridicule needs to be used as it is hard to discuss logic with people who believe Noah built an ark, Jonah lived in a fish and Jack climbed a beanstalk to heaven.