"Calling America's bluff on Internet gambling" - U2 Feedback

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Old 10-18-2009, 07:55 PM   #1
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"Calling America's bluff on Internet gambling"

No issue brings out America's talent for self-deception like gambling.

To persuade ourselves that we can keep this particular sin under control, we sequestered casinos in isolated places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City reachable only by superhighways, and isolated them on riverboats where not a single card could be dealt or slot lever pulled until the vessel left the dock.
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) have both introduced bills in Congress to lift a federal ban on much online play and clarify the law, which is even murkier than it is for physical casinos, if that's possible. Their goals include taking a piece of the action for the U.S. Treasury, on the political principle that sins always seem less deadly when there's money to be squeezed from them. The consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated in 2007 that legalization could yield as much as $43 billion in tax revenue over 10 years if it includes sports betting, $34 billion even if it's not.
It's fair to say that the American approach to Internet gambling, which is legal in much of the rest of the world, is absurd. (Indeed, the federal ban placed the U.S. in Dutch with international trading partners that host online gambling companies, which have complained to the World Trade Organization that it violates trade treaties the U.S. signed.) State laws are wildly inconsistent and sometimes hypocritically excessive. "Martians might have a difficult time understanding that if you play poker online for money in the state of Washington, you're committing a class C felony," Joseph M. Kelly, a gambling-law expert at Buffalo State University in New York, told me. "That's the same as rape."

Calling America's bluff on Internet gambling -- latimes.com
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