Internet Gambling Laws in the US Will Soon Take a Dramatic Turn

The U.K. introduced sweeping changes to its internet gambling laws with the passage of the Gambling Act of 2005. The stated purposes of the act were very noble: to prevent gambling from being a source of crime and disorder; to ensure gambling would be conducted in a fair and open manner; and to protect children from being harmed by enforcing the legal gambling age of 18 years. In practice, of course, the act led to a surge in on site operators moving to the country and a corresponding increase in tax revenues as a result.

In the U.S., the situation is much different. Gambling is legal under Federal law but prohibited in many states, with some local exceptions. Legal gambling states include Nevada and New Jersey, although many states have passed laws that legalize gambling in certain municipalities as well as on Native American lands. Internet gambling laws, on the other hand, have effectively prohibited operators from doing business within the states.

In 2006 Congress approved an act that dramatically affected the internet gambling laws and effectively proclaimed the industry illegal. That act threw the industry into turmoil, and drove virtually all of the U.S. based operations out of the country. Sites operated out of the U.K. and the Bahamas now garner a majority of this profitable business. But numerous faults in the 2006 legislation and the feeling that Congress has more important things to worry about have now pushed the country to the brink of legalizing the industry.

If the U.S. is to proceed with the legalization of gambling over the internet, congress must first do away with its awkward attempt at making it illegal under the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (more easily referred to as UIGEA). The purpose of that act was fairly simple: make it illegal for banks, credit card companies, and other payment processors to transfer funds from gamblers to online casinos and from those online casinos back to the gamblers.

You must understand, however, that the preference of lawmakers has always been to prohibit online gambling. But concerns about the constitutionality of such a prohibition as well as the mind boggling problems associated with enforcing the ban have consistently killed any possible actions along those lines. So Congress chose instead to try to attack the problem by preventing the flow of capital between the gamblers and the casinos under the UIGEA.

Now, thanks in no small part to the national financial meltdown, Congress is poised to reverse its approach to internet gambling laws and scrub the problem-plagued UIGEA. Under a couple of proposed House bills including one sponsored by Barney Franks and Ron Paul, Congress now appears poised to legalize and regulate the industry.

Whenever Congress actually considers such a sensible approach you can assume that there are potential tax revenues to be gained. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that one of the major benefits of legalized gambling is additional revenue for the government. Recent studies have indicated that the tax revenues the government stands to reap from a legalized online gambling industry could reach more than $50 billion over the next 10 years.

Hopefully, based on current sentiment in Congress regarding internet gambling laws, U.S. based online gambling fans will soon be able to enjoy their sport legally through U.S. based operations that will be under the scrutiny, and taxing power, of the Federal government.

Time to Legalize Gambling

Native American reservations being sovereign territory have become ideal venues for gambling interests to fund Nevada like casinos and attract those who enjoy the games which offer little reward to the player. The Indians have gone so far as to resurrect near nonexistent tribes close to large cities to better attract customers. Behemoths sprout from the reservation soil and the people come to place their money on the table or in those hungry cash cow machines. These casinos were and are backed by investors with non Indian backgrounds and I think it is time that we revisit the way we look at legalized gambling.

Even though gambling is legal in three states, Nevada, Mississippi and New Jersey, events like horse racing, dog racing, Jai Ali, off track betting at state approved locations, slot machines, the lottery, scratch off games and card rooms are legal in many states. These various forms of gambling provide huge amounts of revenue for the casino operators, Native Americans, and the government.

Individuals that take bets off track are called bookies. There is no control or regulation and business is good. These are crimes subject to statute and carry penalties of jail time and fines. This makes little sense given the many forms of gambling that are legal today. If gambling was made legal and oversight provided these now illegal operators would be put out of business by approved off track wagering locations like the lottery is today. The positive result, a tremendous boost to the economy. It’s obvious that the demand is there so why do we think that making these operations illegal is taking the moral high ground?

I am currently living in South Florida and Thorough Bred horses, trotters, dogs, poker rooms, off track betting, bingo machines ( slots), lottery and I don’t know how many rotating scratch off ticket games are legal but gambling is still illegal.

Frankly, I just don’t get it. It gets better.

The Seminoles have sovereign nation status and have seven casinos in Florida, two which are Hard Rock sites. The Seminoles have made enough from their action in Florida that they purchased the entire Hard Rock Franchise. That includes Las Vegas

Till this year all the approved gaming venues in Florida had slots called bingo machines and poker. This year the governor entered into a pact with the Seminoles giving them the right to Blackjack, Las Vegas style slots, Baccarat, Pai Gow, Three Card Poker and Let It Ride. For this privilege and entering into the compact the Seminoles will pay 100 million dollars per year. Not bad but giving a severe disadvantage to the other non Seminole venues and consequently drawing business from those that are now less competitive.

The good governor had the states interest in mind when he did this but the Florida State Supreme Court looked at it differently. The Supreme Court of Florida ruled that the governor had exceeded his authority. So now they litigate but the Hard Rock continues to operate the games. The other state approved casinos not under the Seminole umbrella are still working at a serious disadvantage. This is not unlike, if I may, giving big chain like Wal-Mart the right to sell certain popular goods and banning other retailers from selling the same merchandise giving the big player another leg up.

I am perplexed at the fact that all of this goes on with the approval of the government and they still look at gambling as an illegal venture.

I think it is time that gambling is legalized and managed in select areas to allow those adults who do enjoy gaming to do so and enriching not only the operators, creating employment but giving a big advantage to the states. I look at the condition of a lot of schools and wonder where is all of that lottery money going? I think the ticket manufacturer is the real winner there.

I do believe that if gambling is made legal the revenue should be targeted directly to education and higher education. We should not in any way give the politicians free reign over the funds as we have seen how silly they act when they have excess capitol just laying around.

Gambling is the one form of adult entertainment that I have never heard a player say that the gaming taxes are too high. When you observe the Seminoles not only buying the entire Hard Rock franchise for $80,000,000 ( 80 million dollars) and shortly there after were able to commit to the State of Florida for $100,000,000 (that’s one hundred million) for the first year of operating with the new games I would think there is more than enough to go around.

Gambling – On Being Legal Or Illegal

When the issues on gambling are being raised, the issue on its legalization will never be silenced. There are loads of debates about it weighing which is of really weight: the advantages or the disadvantages of having gambling legal in countries.

Well, there are points to count on and these points come from both sides.

There are claims that when legalized, illegal gambling that lures people to be addicted and have miserable lives would be ignored. For those who believe in this thought, they think that legalizing gambling and whatever forms of it would lead to a more regulated system in a country. Another thing they want to raise is that if legal gambling is established, there would be government-owned gambling venues; this would pull people to support legal games than those that are not permitted by the government. The angle of incurring taxes from gambling would definitely be a help as believed by its proponents.

On the other hand, even though how these contentions try to become strong arguments, there are destroyers of these.

In other countries that do not believe on the benefits of legalizing gambling, they stand with the arguments that if the government opens the door to legalizing gambling, it would just be like teaching citizens to really be into gambling, no matter how legal or regulated it is, it would not lose the fact that it is still gambling, a means of asking people to venture on what they have and try their luck by betting their money or other possessions. This is also a means of luring people to gamble when normally they do not.

There are loads of loopholes pinpointed by those people who are against the existence of the so-called legal gambling. The biggest loophole is that legalizing gambling is like legalizing greed. A government that would allow this to happen would be a very irresponsible one. Instead of encouraging its citizens to be productive in such a way that they would realize what the dignity of work is.