Bill allows gamblers to tap banks..

RobWin

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I stumbled across this article last night and thought you guys might be interested in reading it...it may be some old news for some of you guys but I did find a couple things in the article that I had not read about before...



By PHIL MATTINGLY
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
October 02, 2007

WASHINGTON A bill that would allow gamblers to transfer money from their bank accounts directly to online gambling sites is picking up some congressional momentum.

The legislation, introduced by U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., in April, also provides for the federal regulation and licensing of Internet gambling. U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., a co-sponsor of the bill, has introduced a companion bill that would tax reported gambling earnings and produce what he estimates is between $6 billion and $25 billion in federal revenue over the first five years.

Under Frank's bill, states and Indian tribes would have the option to prohibit Internet gambling within their borders. And, sports leagues, both professional and collegiate, could prohibit wagers on their games. The bill also requires safeguards to counteract underage gambling and gambling addiction.

Thirty-six representatives have pledged their support as co-sponsors so far, including U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., who represents the Cape and Islands.

There are three other bills under review connected to online betting. Frank's bill, which has the most co-sponsors, is still in the Financial Services Committee, which he chairs and which oversees the banking industry.

It has major support from the gambling industry, as well as payment companies such as Visa USA. The bill would actually repeal a 2006 federal ban on the knowing transfer of funds between American banking institutions and businesses that conduct gambling. In the 38 states, including Massachusetts, where Internet gambling is legal, gamblers can use their credit cards but not their debit cards.

Banks have been forced to play "the morality police," said Steve Kenneally, vice president of payments and technology policy for America's Community Bankers, a national trade association for banks. Rules from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury were expected in July, said Kenneally, but banks have not yet received them.

While not openly in support of the bill, Kenneally said something must be done to ease the burden on the banks.

"For example, if you write a check to 'Tom's House of Cards,' how are we supposed to know whether or not it is intended for a gambling site or for a Hallmark store?" he said.

In Massachusetts, 4 percent of residents nearly twice the national average have gambled online, according to an October 2006 survey conducted by the Center for Policy Analysis at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.

Internet gambling could actually increase business for any casinos that might be built in Massachusetts, said Clyde Barrow, director of the Center for Policy Analysis at UMass-Dartmouth.

"It has the converse effect to what you would think," said Barrow, who oversees the New England Gaming Research Project. "People tend to learn the game playing online. Once they get comfortable with the cards and the rules, they will be more likely to move on to the casinos."

Twenty organizations have spent money to lobby for online gambling issues, according to lobby expenditure reports filed with the U.S. Senate. They spent $2.65 million on Internet gambling during the first six months of 2007. The American Gaming Association, which represents the commercial gambling industry, spent the most at $900,000.

The gambling industry was not alone in lobbying for the bill. Payment processing companies accounted for $480,000 in expenditures. And credit card company Visa USA listed Frank's bill as one of dozens that it has supported.

Calls to Visa USA for comment were not returned.

Other groups have been putting pressure on local congressmen.

"We have been very active in getting our 720,000 members across the country to get engaged at the local level," said John Pappas, executive director of Poker Players Alliance, a nonprofit group that represents poker players. Alliance members visited more than 100 congressmen in August, Pappas said.

The bill's best chance is as an attachment to a spending proposal, said Pappas. "This Congress is searching for ways to pay for many different programs."

Not everyone is enthusiastic, however.

"There are a lot of people who have problems with it," said Steve Adamske, Frank's communications director, noting opposition from Republicans, major professional sports leagues and groups opposed to gambling in general.

The loudest voice of opposition has come from Focus on the Family, an evangelical Christian group.

"Without effective regulations, children will be exposed to online gambling and our national security placed in jeopardy," Tom Minnery, the group's senior vice president of government and public policy, wrote in a May 17 letter to President Bush. "More than 230 million people in the United States access the Internet, including children. Computers don't ask your age, nor can they assess whether laundered money is funding criminal and terrorist groups."

Source: Cape Cod Media Group, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.


Lobbyists:

Here's a look at some notable organizations lobbying in support of online gambling legislation:


American Gaming Commission - $900,000


PartyGaming - $440,000


Interactive Gaming Council - $320,000


Poker Players Alliance - $300,000


GTech Corp. (gaming technology company based in Providence, R.I.) - $120,000


Harrah's Entertainment (casino operator) - $100,000


Magna Entertainment Corp. (owns and runs eight race tracks, including Pimlico Race Course) - $60,000


Total lobby expenditures for online gambling: $2.65 million

Sources: Center for Responsive Politics and Senate records


I did find it interesting that Harrah's seems to be greasing both sides of the fence in this issue....
 

jetset

RIP Brian
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It's certainly interesting that Visa is among those lobbying in support of online gambling, given their past attempts to kill off the use of credit cards for the pastime...perhaps they're finally realising how much cash can be made, or maybe they're taking a cautious line and lobbying for a commission of enquiry into the whole phenomenon like the AGA. Magna, too.

The PPA actually spent $900 000 on lobbying in the full 2007 year, whilst the AGA spent $1.7 million for 2007.

Either way, it's encouraging I think, despite the old and inaccurate bogeyman trotted out yet again by the religious right: "Computers don't ask your age, nor can they assess whether laundered money is funding criminal and terrorist groups."
 

RobWin

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It's certainly interesting that Visa is among those lobbying in support of online gambling, given their past attempts to kill off the use of credit cards for the pastime...perhaps they're finally realising how much cash can be made, or maybe they're taking a cautious line and lobbying for a commission of enquiry into the whole phenomenon like the AGA. Magna, too.

The PPA actually spent $900 000 on lobbying in the full 2007 year, whilst the AGA spent $1.7 million for 2007.

Either way, it's encouraging I think, despite the old and inaccurate bogeyman trotted out yet again by the religious right: "Computers don't ask your age, nor can they assess whether laundered money is funding criminal and terrorist groups."
Yep, seems as though the "Religious Right" will not go away quietly into the night...:rolleyes:

I was happy to also see that apparently VISA is behind the effort and now if MC will jump on board this thing may start to get some teeth in it...
 

MJackson

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"Without effective regulations, children will be exposed to online gambling and our national security placed in jeopardy," Tom Minnery, the group's senior vice president of government and public policy, wrote in a May 17 letter to President Bush. "More than 230 million people in the United States access the Internet, including children. Computers don't ask your age, nor can they assess whether laundered money is funding criminal and terrorist groups."
Speaking of evangelical Christians, I was just watching a video of Christopher Hitchens giving a talk somewhere and someone who he apparently had a run in with at another talk tried to approach him in the Q&A session, I'll paraphrase but it went something like this,
-No out you go!
Religious nut - but I just...
Hitchens - Out with him, get this crackpot out of here, security...

The reason for this is that Hitchens deals with zealots at a lot of his speeches who will rob the mike and start spewing Bible nonsense until they're blue in the face or forceably removed, even despite loud protests from the audience.

You see these phony arguments continually marched out in front of the general public who can't have the in depth knowledge to understand how false and absurd they are. At what point do serious people who actually understand the industry and the technology to at least a marginal degree get to shout, "Out with these crackpots"?

I'm all for free speech but marginal arguments should be kept on the margin by reason. They shouldn't be allowed to lie like that.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
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It's not just the religious right that trots out these fallacies, either - there has been much discussion in the past about government agencies and politicians being unable or unwilling to substantiate their frequent claims to the media and Congress that online gambling aids money laundering and the transfer of funds to terrorists.

The facts - and several reports from major financial institutions - suggest otherwise.

But that's an "Inconvenient Truth" I guess!
 

NASHVEGAS

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Yep, seems as though the "Religious Right" will not go away quietly into the night...:rolleyes:

I was happy to also see that apparently VISA is behind the effort and now if MC will jump on board this thing may start to get some teeth in it..
VISA's IPO scheduled for the third week in March (which is expected by far to be the biggest IPO in the history of the US despite the current dog days of Wall Street) will have the company seeking profit growth opportunities despite the initial mania for shares, most of which is based on the success of MasterCard's IPO and subsequent approx. 400% increase in its' stock price since the IPO in May 2006!.....eventually the manias will wear off from the IPO's especially as consumer spending is currently tightening and imo both companies will have to seek actual real growth opportunies to support their stock prices. What two companies have the best opportunities as a trusted funding mechanism for online gambling with most of the necessary infrastructure practically already in place than VISA and MC??...It prolly makes too much sense!!:rolleyes:
 

RobWin

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MJackson...I'm curious, do you know any of these folks ?

MarkJacob=Liz=Eduun=Fcat=SoSad=DJackson ;)

and are you an Independent Graphic Design Professional...living in the

West Palm Beach, Florida Area

Like I said...I'm just kinda curious...;)
 

MJackson

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MJackson...I'm curious, do you know any of these folks ?

MarkJacob=Liz=Eduun=Fcat=SoSad=DJackson

and are you an Independent Graphic Design Professional...living in the

West Palm Beach, Florida Area

Like I said...I'm just kinda curious...
No Sir. Just looking at my disgusting hack-job of an avatar should quickly disspel any idea that I have anything whatsoever to do with graphic design.
Pretty Sh*tty design!
You must not think highly of whoever you think I am.
 

MJackson

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What two companies have the best opportunities as a trusted funding mechanism for online gambling with most of the necessary infrastructure practically already in place than VISA and MC??...It prolly makes too much sense!!
Are you taking any positions?
 

RobWin

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No Sir. Just looking at my disgusting hack-job of an avatar should quickly disspel any idea that I have anything whatsoever to do with graphic design.
Pretty Sh*tty design!
You must not think highly of whoever you think I am.
So are you saying No Sir to knowing any of those folks or to not being in Graphic Design ?

Sorry for the derail folks but I need to know...
 

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