Should You Still Be Able to Legally Gamble Online? [POLL]
It seems a rhetorical question, since it’s already here in New Jersey, plus Delaware and Nevada; but a couple of senators (not from here, obviously), are looking to enforce a longstanding interpretation of the federal Wire Act which would bar you from gambling on-line.
For the record, let me state this. I’m no fan of on-line gambling. But I say that as it pertains to me and me alone. The lure of gambling in any setting looks ripe with pitfalls. I have visions of the casual fan of blackjack sitting on the throne "dropping the deuce" as it were, with cellphone in hand.
But then again, that's not something I’m predisposed to doing. Should you wish to partake, that’s completely your business.
However, to say that I’m not a fan of gambling at all would be a stretch, since we all play lotteries (for the most part).
But now that the horse is out of the barn regarding legal internet gambling, and 10 other states considering the possibility of legalizing the practice; Senators Lindsey Graham and Diane Feinstein wish to close the barn door introducing a bill that would outlaw on-line betting as we know it across the U.S.
According to this report from nj.com:
"In 1999, South Carolina outlawed video poker and removed over 33,000 video poker machines from within its borders," Graham said in a news release. "Now, because of the Obama Administration’s decision, virtually any cell phone or computer can again become a video poker machine. It’s simply not right."
New Jersey senators, Robert Menendez and Cory Booker have both said they would fight the measure, which they believe would create another situation where internet gambling would no longer have the ability to be regulated.
"Blanket prohibition of internet gaming will empower black market operators at the expense of responsible states like New Jersey, which have invested in creating a secure internet gaming structure," Menendez said in a news release.
He said the bill "would have the perverse effect of putting millions of American poker players at risk while doing nothing to prevent minors from playing online, combat fraud or crack down on other illegal activities."
Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation legalizing online gambling last year, and by November, several of Atlantic City’s casinos had begun taking bets over the internet.
Loathe though I am to agree with Senator Menendez, he’s right about the ban putting on-line betting back in the hands of black-marketers over whom the state and the feds would have no control.
And, isn’t that the situation we face now with the flow of recreational marijuana into the states?
The other aspect of this that makes it suspect is the fact that the bill is being sponsored by "Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino mogul and major Republican donor who heads the Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Adelson has devoted considerable resources to stopping online gambling, which he has said will harm the young, the poor and the elderly by bringing betting into the home."
Obviously he has a vested interest in not wanting the casual gambler to have internet access to casino games.
Lindsay Graham and Diane Feinstein might do well to let the market dictate the fate of on-line gambling, especially since the jury’s still out on whether or not it’s successful. Thusfar the take on internet gambling has been far less than the amount the Governor had hoped for.
If the folks want it, let it be, and allow the states that are permitting it reap the benefits lest the control of it (or lack thereof) fall into the wrong hands.