Advocacy Group Opposes Online Casino Gaming

Advocacy Group Opposes Online Casino Gaming

From Bill’s Poker Blog:

Someone on 2+2 posted a link to the website for Focus on the Family who is actively campaigning against Barney Frank’s bill. Their passion and zeal should be frightening for all online poker players.

Internet Gambling Take Action
3-29-2007

by Chad Hills

In 2005, U.S. citizens illegally exported $6 billion dollars to unknown, unaccountable foreign online casinos. Congress passed legislation to stop Internet gambling in the U.S., but the Department of Treasury needs to hear your voice to keep this legislation strong. Representative Barney Frank, however, introduced dangerous legislation that would legalize Internet gambling and promote its expansion. The fight is on and we need your help to defend the family!

Look at how they use scare tactics to appeal to tug at one’s emotions. These offline sites were not unknown. They advertised on major television networks like NBC. And despite it being a common mistake, most online casinos are not unaccountable. I’m unaware of any casino that does not have a license to operate somewhere which means that they are accountable to the gaming commission of the entity that they have their license through. Most are licensed with the Kahnawake gaming commission in Canada but there are others such as the Alderney gambling commission which are very stringent.

NEWS FLASH: Barney Frank Bill Threatens Families, National Security

Representative Barney Frank, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, sponsored a bill (H.R. 2046) that would legalize Internet gambling in the United States. His bill, if passed, will undo nearly a decade of Congressional efforts to protect children and families from gambling predators on the Internet. It also threatens homeland security in the midst of terrorist threats.

It will undo a cowardly backdoor insertion of legislation that the majority of Americans didn’t want. And the UIGEA, as has been pointed out in many other venues, does absolutely nothing to protect minor from gambling. There isn’t one single item in the law that does anything to protect families and children from gambling. And, obviously the statement about gambling being a threat to homeland security is so hollow that they don’t even attempt justifying it. Instead they just float it out there letting it tug at the emotional strings of those too stupid to think for themselves.

Before the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 was signed into law, children were being assaulted by Internet pop-ups and advertisements for more than 2,000 instant, online casinos. More than $6 billion left the U.S. economy and poured into questionable off-shore gambling operations. Barney Frank’s bill must be defeated for the sake of children, families and homeland security.

These numbers are simply absurd. Games like poker are zero sum. One player makes money, another player loses money. The $6 billion they claim that left the US economy also came back into the US economy. Besides, what business is it of anyone’s where I spend my money?

The pop-up ads thing is laughable. I’m far more likely to get a pop-up from GM or Nissan reading the Yahoo News or Forbes than I am to see a pop-up ad for gambling sites.

Lastly, notice the emotional appeal again. Save the families. Save the children. Homeland security.

This coming Friday, June 8, at 10 am, the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on Rep. Barney Frank’s legislation, H.R. 2046, the “Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act of 2007.” H.R 2046 has 19 Co-Sponsors.

H.R. 2046 sets up a scheme for legalizing, licensing and regulating Internet gambling operations. Rep. Barney Frank’s bill excuses Internet gambling operators from prosecution or enforcement action under any Federal or State law, if they simply obtain a license and follow the bill’s requirements. Thus, H.R. 2046 effectively overrides all other gambling regulations or limitations under Federal or State law.

Yes, if these people simply follow the law it exempts from from prosecution! How dare they! They should be prosecuted even if they follow the law!

Are you tired of being assaulted by thousands of online gambling pop-up ads? Are you worried about your children, a spouse or an extended family member becoming “hooked” on highly addictive Internet gambling? Barney Frank seems more concerned about a handful of poker players and the special interests of foreign casino operators.

Oppose Barney Frank’s bill (H.R. 2046) and support strong regulations for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. Take action now!

Why don’t you just not visit those sites or put a blocking program on your computer to keep your children from visiting gaming sites? No, instead it’s better to take away someone else’s right to play online poker rather than exercise any sort of self-restraint.

Take Action – Barney Frank Bill

Oppose Barney Frank’s legislation (H.R. 2046), because it jeopardizes the safety of our families and our nation.

The House of Representatives, specifically those who serve on the Financial Services Committee, need to hear an outcry from families and pro-family groups by this Thursday (6-7-07).
Fax, call or e-mail your Representative. Urge your Representative to oppose HR 2046. If your state has a Representative on the House Financial Services Committee, contact them as well (see Committee members). This Committee will hold a hearing on Barney Frank’s bill this Friday (6-8-07).

Other Things You Can Do:

* Submit testimony (your experience, your thoughts) about Internet gambling for the Congressional record (by 6-8-07).
* Send out e-mails to friends to call their Representatives.
* Mention this issue in your church, to radio programs or other pro-family organizations
* Write to the local newspaper editor with your concerns.

Background on the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was attached to the SAFE Port Act (H.R. 4954) and passed in 2006. This legislation delegated authority to the U.S. Department of the Treasury to determine the details and regulations pertaining to the Internet gambling portion of this legislation (Title VIII).

Needless to say, the foreign online gambling industry hired a number of lobbyists to influence this legislation and ultimately weaken the UIGEA. Foreign Internet casino operators lost an estimated $6 billion when Congress passed this legislation in 2006. They are intent on lobbying to reclaim their lost business by advocating porous Internet legislation and regulation.

The U.S. Department of Treasury is expected to release their regulations very soon, so voice your concerns today (see talking points listed below). Read the letter written by professional and amateur sports organizations that encourages strong regulations against Internet gambling.

Take Action – Unlawful Internet Gambling

Send a message to President Bush:

Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461 (most effective)
E-mail: comments@whitehouse.gov

Emphasize these points:

* The Department of the Treasury is tasked with drafting strong and thorough regulations. Word from legislators working closely with this bill is that the regulations are too weak, and the law will may be undermined by the rules and regulations. A handful of federal agents could create and maintain a list of unlawful Internet gambling operations to existing Pro-family organizations and citizens must contact the White House and urge President Bush to direct the Treasury to create strong regulations to uphold this legislation.

* A second concern is Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-MA) bill, HR 2046. His bill would effectively repeal the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, reversing nearly a decade of Congressional efforts to keep families safe from the predatory online gambling industry. Citizens need to voice their opposition to the dangerous bill that would open the gates wide for all Internet casinos.

Citizens should also be aware that Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) sponsored a bill that seeks to “study” the option of Internet gambling in the United States and ultimately justify its legalization. Oppose HR 2140, because more than 230 million Americans access the Internet, including children. We do not want thousands of virtual casinos tempting adults and children to gamble, nor can we verify whether these sites are funding criminals or terrorists. We don’t have to study Internet gambling to know that risks are too great.

This is one of my favorites. “We don’t have to study Internet gambling to know that the risks are too great.” These family-first types are proud of their own ignorance. Facts might muddy the debate.

You can also contact Secretary Paulson, of the Department of Treasury. Express your concern for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act regulations to remain strong.

The Honorable Henry M. Paulson

Secretary of the Department of the Treasury

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20220

Phone – 202-622-1100

Phone – Department of the Treasury Main Switchboard – 202-622-1100

Fax – 202-622-6415

Web site: http://www.ustreas.gov/

Talking Points:

(Choose three or four)

* Internet gambling sites took approximately $6 billion out of the U.S. economy in 2005 and may have funded foreign terrorist groups or criminal organizations.

There is absolutely to evidence to support this statement. None!

* More than 2,500 foreign online virtual casinos were soliciting more than 230 million U.S. Internet users, without effective age verification, validation of payment sources and no financial accountability.

All online casinos have age verification. Just try getting a withdrawal from Mansion. They require that you send a passport, proof of residence, etc.

* Internet gambling holds catastrophic potential for organized crime, funding terrorists and laundering money. Read more …

Unless, of course, it was legal, regulated, and open to inspection by state and federal agencies. Duh!

* Betting on sports is illegal in the United States, with the exception of Nevada and Oregon (Montana and Delaware chose not to wager on sports). Online sports-betting sites were – and still are – making a mockery of U.S. legislation by violating federal Internet gambling laws daily.
* The integrity of amateur and professional sports is compromised by the growing number of online sports-gambling sites (i.e. point shaving, player payoffs, corrupting coaches, etc). Read more …

The integrity of professional sports is being compromised by 21 year olds making $20 million a year. Sports betting is the least of the sports world’s problems.

* The American Psychological Association found high school and college-aged populations to be at an increased risk for Internet gambling addiction. [APA Advisory on Internet Gambling, March 17, 2002] See Advisory …

Then control your kids! Don’t take away my rights because you’re an incompetent parent.

* Machines cannot verify your age, and children are at extreme risk for exploitation and addiction. Already, gambling addiction with adolescents and on college campuses is at epidemic proportions.

What?! Considering the epidemic problem of identity theft, people don’t seem to be able to verify age/identity that well either.

* The National Gambling Impact Study Commission (NGISC) calculated that approximately 7.9 million adolescents have a problem or pathological gambling addiction. Imagine filling 113 NFL football stadiums to capacity; that’s how many under-aged teens and children have gambling problems. Read more of the NGISC Report …

Those people shouldn’t be gambling. How about you work on the problem – keeping problem gamberls from gambling – rather than violating the rights of the other 230 million people without a problem. Imagine filling 3250 NFL football stadiums to capacity; that’s how many people’s rights you’re willing to trample.

* Four out of five students under the age of 18 say that going online is a vital part of their schoolwork. One in five adults says their children spend too much time on the Internet. This age group is extremely vulnerable to online solicitation and subsequent gambling addictions. [USC Annenberg School, 2005] Read more …

This argument is so weak it’s laughable.

* Availability and accessibility are key components in creating addiction to gambling. The Internet is available and accessible 24/7 with no accountability. Addicted gamblers can remain anonymous and feed their addiction in secret. Pathological gambling addiction doubles within 10 to 50 miles of a casino – one can only imagine the addiction rates for 2,500 or more casinos within the reach of a mouse click. Read more …

Yeah, because people with gambling problems wouldn’t move closer to the casino. This argument tries to make it sound like once a casino goes in that it spreads a problem gambling virus into the surrounding community.

* Video gambling is the most addictive form of gambling in history. Research finds that addiction can occur in about one year, compared with gambling addictions to traditional slots and card games occurring in three to four years. Read more …

Are they really arguing that the speed at which it dawns on you that you have a gambling problem should be the criteria for whether or not something should be legal?

* Taxpayers and the federal government should not be burdened with monitoring thousands of separate, foreign gambling sites for corruption, illegal activities or jeopardizing homeland security.

Believe me, with the increased taxes coming in, I don’t think the government is going to look at this as a burden.

* Effective and strong regulations are necessary to ensure that the online gambling industry does not infiltrate millions of homes, destroy children, ruin families and mock U.S. laws prohibiting Internet gambling.

I guess being a good, responsible parent is out of the question.