Barney Frank's Attempt To Allow & Tax Online Gambling Moves Forward (Again)

from the with-caveats dept

Back in 2006, some politicians included a bill that effectively banned online gambling as a part of a law designed to protect our ports (don't ask what one has to do with the other). Pretty much since then, Rep. Barney Frank has been seeking to legalize online gambling (in order to tax it), and he just got a step closer to that as the House Finance Committee has passed a version of his bill. There were, not surprisingly, complaints against how this bill would "bring gambling into everyone's homes," but that ignores (of course) that it's already available in homes, and the feds have long admitted that they have no idea how to enforce the original law.

Of course, this is not the first time that the House Finance Committee has approved such a bill, and in the past it went nowhere. So, there's still a half decent chance that this really means nothing much.

Still, there are some interesting provisions in the bill, as a few amendments were added, including banning the companies who have currently been letting Americans play poker online from getting approved for a license. Yes, all of those online gambling sites who are still offering services and hoping this bill passes... may get shut out by it. Of course, they might have a pretty strong legal case that this is not legal, seeing as some courts have suggested that poker is not technically gambling. Another amendment would bar those who are behind in child support payments from visiting online gambling sites, though I don't see how they enforce that one.

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  • identicon
    Pixelation, 28 Jul 2010 @ 11:34pm

    This bill from the same man who said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac didn't need any more regulation. I wonder who's in his back pocket for this one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jay (profile), 28 Jul 2010 @ 11:43pm

    "Yes, all of those online gambling sites who are been still offering services..."

    I believe that should be who have been offering services

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, 28 Jul 2010 @ 11:44pm

    Q: What Kind Of Game Is It Where Any Strategy That Helps You Win Is Automatically Classified As “Cheating”?

    A: A sucker’s game.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2010 @ 11:49pm

    that's the rub, anything you can do to improve your odds, the "house" gets it made illegal to do it, they should ban the game period, shut them down they are just "legally" stealing your money, you will never beat the house

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      btr1701 (profile), 29 Jul 2010 @ 10:57am

      Re: Cheating

      > that's the rub, anything you can do to improve
      > your odds, the "house" gets it made illegal to do it

      Not true. Card-counting has been specifically ruled not to be cheating, per the Nevada Supreme Court. Cheating at a casino is a crime and if caught doing it, you can go to prison. When the court ruled card-counting is not cheating, that meant the only thing the casino can do is kick you off their property for doing it. They can't call the police, have you arrested/charged, etc.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Michael Lockyear (profile), 29 Jul 2010 @ 2:34am

    I doubt that offshore companies, that are operating tax-free and probably legally in the jurisdictions where they are based, are overly concerned whether or not the US gives them a license!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michial Thompson, 29 Jul 2010 @ 3:55am

      Re:

      Actually they should be concerned about it. The US will just keep the same pressures on them which are simply to make it difficult for players to send and receive money from them. This will basically send the traffic to the sites that can simply take your credit, debit, or paypal money and let you play.

      Most CC companies, paypal, western union and money gram all refuse to allow money to be sent to these companies. So if the US keeps this same pressure on them then the customers will go where it's the easiest.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 29 Jul 2010 @ 6:51am

        Re: Re:

        "So if the US keeps this same pressure on them then the customers will go where it's the easiest."

        Meaning, illegal and unregulated offshore companies (or equally illegal domestic outfits), of course...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 29 Jul 2010 @ 6:50am

      Re:

      Incorrect. I currently work in Gibraltar, where a lot of UK gaming companies are based (those from other European countries tend to prefer Malta). At least 2 of the gaming companies here were sent to the brink of bankruptcy after these laws were enforced, and the CEOs of several companies arrested when in the US for either business or pleasure.

      I think that most gaming companies would love to target the large US market free from the threat of arrest and imprisonment for doing something completely above board.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michial Thompson, 29 Jul 2010 @ 4:02am

    Child Support restriction

    little mikee;

    It's not so much about how they would enforce the rule on not letting those with back child support play on these sites, but rather what they would be able to do with them.

    Currently they are pretty rough on people with back child support, do things like take their drivers license and any professional licenses away, even their fishing licemse. Which is all somehow supposed to encourage them to pay. I'm not sure how taking a Drs licence to practice his profession away actually can help him pay, or how taking a truckers license to drive a truck away helps, but thats just some of the things they do.

    They can also put guys in jail for not paying. Currently that sentence cannot exceed a year because the tecnical charge is contempt of court. By adding the charge of gambling while behind on child support they can simply add to the time in jail and futher delay the payments for child support. OH what sense does it make to also put someone in jail for a year for not paying, AND also keep racking up the support amounts that they are behind???

    Anyway, as I said, it's not about preventing them from playing online, just about the sentence that can be handed down.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AJB, 29 Jul 2010 @ 5:44am

    Good ol' Barney

    He couldn't make enough money with the gay prostitution ring so now he's branching out...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Hephaestus (profile), 29 Jul 2010 @ 6:20am

    "as a few amendments were added, including banning the companies who have currently been letting Americans play poker online from getting approved for a license."

    Like that is going to work in anyway shape or form.
    Start a new company and website doing the same thing, then purchase the URL of the old company.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Roger, 29 Jul 2010 @ 8:06am

    The thing that I find interesting is that the reason for allowing online gambling is that then we can tax it. Why not do the same for, say, prostitution? Or the sale of heroin?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 29 Jul 2010 @ 9:10am

      Re:

      The thing that I find interesting is that the reason for allowing online gambling is that then we can tax it.

      You have it backwards. The way it's supposed to work is that there has to be a really compelling reason to disallow something, otherwise it's allowed. In this case, the ban is to protect the profits of casinos and dog and horse tracks. So the reason to allow online gambling is that the law banning it has no legitimate purpose.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Jay (profile), 29 Jul 2010 @ 9:55am

        Re: Re:

        It does on religious grounds, but that's an entirely different bag of tricks...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 29 Jul 2010 @ 2:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Outlawing something on religious grounds is, IMO, illegitimate. If you mean something else then I misunderstood.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Jay (profile), 29 Jul 2010 @ 3:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Not to turn this into a religious thread but there's a few states that ban gambling on religious grounds. If I had to name a few, it'd be Utah or even Colorado.

            So what happens is that people play online to get around the hard ban.

            Like I said, it becomes an entirely different ball game once people get religion involved with gambling.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      btr1701 (profile), 29 Jul 2010 @ 11:00am

      Re: Gambling

      > the reason for allowing online gambling is that
      > then we can tax it.

      No, the reason we should allow gambling is because it's none of the government's business what I spend my money on.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, 29 Jul 2010 @ 3:28pm

    Legalizing gambling

    Great article, and highly relevant discussion.

    Sounds like the amendment to discriminate against the present providers would just force a name change?

    I think anything we have should be legalized and taxed (well, I have some reservations about child porn, but....).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DanVan (profile), 2 Aug 2010 @ 6:36am

    How dare we tax something that will be occuring whether we regulate it or not!

    We should continue ignoring it and refusing to accept the millions that we would get!

    True right-wing style!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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