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Support Grows for Online Gambling In the US

August 18, 2009

Homepage > Online Casino News > Support Grows For Online Gambling In The U.S.

The more the Department of Justice (DoJ) clamps down on online gambling transactions, the more support it generates for online gambling in the United States. The latest celebrity to lend support to online gambling is columnist George Will. His support is all the more surprising because his is a known Republican supporter.

Will runs a syndicated column in Washington Post. In the column that appeared this weekend, Will wrote on the need to legalize online gambling, stating that the current laws banning online gambling were absurd. Now the Republican camp appears to be squarely split down the middle. On one side are the libertarian thinkers who want to free online gambling and on the other side are religious radicals who want to impose their lifestyle choices on the nation.

In the column, Will pointed out two issues about the UIGEA that are seldom reported, but are very pertinent. One issue is that the Congress acted to please the church groups who had pledged support to the Republicans. The holding of online gambling illegal also gave an impetus to state lotteries, by removing competition from their path. But unfortunately the twin intentions are at cross purposes. By adopting gambling as an economic tool, the government’s moral stand against online gambling has lost credibility. Will writes. “Having turned gambling, which once was treated as a sin, into a social policy, government looks unusually silly criminalizing online forms of it.”

Will provides further reasons for not acting against online gambling. He says that online gambling is a pleasurable and harmless pastime for millions of Americans and that the government has no business to deny them that pleasure. He concludes the column by saying, “Congress probably should fold its interference with Internet gambling, and certainly should get its 10 thumbs off Americans’ freedom to exercise their poker skills online.”

Meanwhile Barney Frank’s bill to repeal the UIGEA and provide a structure for legalizing and regulating online gambling is attracting more sponsors. The number at last count was 54. 49 of these are Democrats. Earlier Frank had indicated that the bill would come up for hearing in the House in September. The state of the economy seems to have improved and hopefully the legislators can now turn their attention to other matters.

Further support to online gambling is coming from the country’s largest land based gambling organization. This is Harrah’s, which sponsors the World Series of Poker. Though legalization of online gambling is still some distance in the future, Harrah’s has already instituted an online gambling division called Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment. This is headed by ex-Party Gaming chief Mitch Garber. So confident is Garber about online gambling being eventually freed that he has assembled his complete team, which currently operates from Montreal. Garber does not see online gambling as competition for land based gambling, but as an opportunity for land based casinos to spread their wings.


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