Truth Trumps Politics

casinoguru

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oklahoma city
Id like to share with the community an editorial i recently wrote. hope you enjoy it.


Truth Trumps Politics



One of the harsh realities of our modern world is that politicians will say just about anything to try to prove a point or win an argument. Sadly, all too often the truth does not mean as much as grabbing a good sound byte. Many politicians have had much to say about online gambling and few have distorted the truth more than Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Spencer Bachus, the Republican Congressman from Alabama and and ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee. Bachus is a strident opponent of legal online gambling who has spewed a venomous litany of reasons that he is against online gambling. While his reasons make great sound bytes, they have very little basis in reality. Let's take a look at the reasons Bachus has stated he opposes online gambling and discuss what is really the truth on each issue.


To quote Rep. Bachus from an aricle he wrote. " In the history of our country, the federal government has never authorized or sanctioned gambling of any kind. Now, offshore casino interests are leading an unprecedented effort to legalize Internet gambling. Internet gambling's characteristics are unique: Online players can gamble 24 hours a day, seven days a week from home; children may play without sufficient age verification; and betting with a credit card can undercut a player's perception of the value of cash, leading to addiction, bankruptcy, and crime. Young people are particularly at risk because a computer in the bedroom or dorm room of a young person is a temptation that many may fall prey to."


So let us get this straight Mr Bachus, A bunch of evil greedy "FOREIGNERS" are going cause people including children to gamble 24 hours a day, seven days a week with no respect for the value of money and as a result they will go bankrupt, become addicts and commit crimes. We really almost want to give in to temptation here and instead of continuing our rebuttal, just fall down laughing. If we were to buy into this load of hogwash for one second, we might just panic and advocate for living in a total isolationist, police state. However for the sake of the article, we will address these lunatic claims.


Before we get into his statements, let's look at an interesting fact about Mr. Bachus. To quote Wikipedia" In 2007, Bachus made trades with a number of short term stock options, betting that stocks would rise or fall for a quick profit or loss. Bachus made up to $160,000, including a bet in March that the stock market would drop that earned him between $15,000 and $50,000. Most members of Congress hold some stocks or mutual funds, but Bachus' rapid-fire trades are unusual for a leading member of Congress, particularly one with the key role of ranking member of the House Committee on Financial Services." So he is against legal gambling but betting on the fact that stocks would lose value is ok with him and he makes a profit on others losses. Anyone with half a brain will realize that selling short is the stock market equivalent of placing a bet. Talk about hypocrisy. Many people in the United States are of the opinion that selling stocks short and betting on the losses of other investors is reprehensible behavior. Over the years there have been many cases of criminal activity and financial ruin that were the result of selling stocks short. What a good bet you made, Mr. Bachus.


The most bold face lie in Mr.Bachus's entire presentation is his statement that "the federal government has never authorized or sanctioned gambling of any kind." Just about every state in the Union has some kind of lottery and even though they are sponsored by states, the involvement and approval of the Federal Government was needed to satisfy any number of statutes concerning states rights and inter-state commerce laws. There is also a Federal Law in place that authorized and regulates gambling on the various Native American Tribal Lands and provides the terms of the tax revenues to be gained from these casinos. To tell us that government has never sanctioned gambling is just untrue.


On CNN, Bachus said, ""There have been studies by Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, McGill University in Canada, American Psychiatric Association - all of these say the younger someone starts gambling, the more likelihood that they become a compulsive gambler." The same Harvard University that Bachus quoted on CNN also released a study that showed that gambling on the internet was less likely to cause addiction than gambling in land based casinos. The Government of South Africa did a similar study and found the same results. So if anything, online gambling is less likely to lead to a gambling addiction than gambling in a live casino. Isn't it curious that the same land based casinos that cause a higher rate of addiction than internet gambling, are also spending millions of dollars to lobby against legal online gambling. We wonder if any Race Tracks or Casinos donated to Mr.Bachus's campaign like they have to other anti online gambling Members of Congress.


Does Mr.Bachus really believe that if online gambling is legal, thousands of people will do nothing but sit at their computer, eat hot pockets and endlessly gamble? Where will they earn the money to do this in the first place? Should we also ban World of Warcraft so we don't have people playing mmo's 7 days a week online? Should we ban Netflix and Hulu so people can't watch TV shows 7 days a week online? Should we ban television or maybe limit peoples broadcast signals to 2 hours of every 24 so they don't watch too much television? CAN YOU SPELL "B-I-G B-R-O-T-H-E-R"? We seriously doubt there are more than a handful of people with the resources or the inclination to gamble online 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and no one has the right to ban any activity because a few mal-adjusted individuals have a problem. There is help available for people with these issues and they were most likely engaging in other sorts of unusual behavior long before online gambling came along. In cases like this, gambling would be the symptom, not the disease.



The claim that infuriates us the most is the implication that legal online gambling will allow children to freely gamble. This is a massive insult against every parent in America. The last thing parents need is more laws by our government that try to take over the job of properly raising our children. All that does is create a society that does not know how to function without Big Brother telling us what to do. This is certainly not what the United States was founded on and not what the vast majority of Americans believe or desire. Raising our children not to engage in anti social activities such as underage gambling, underage drinking or drug taking, having babies at 13 or joining street gangs is the responsibility of the parents and not the government. The role of the government is to deal with providing proper and stimulating education for our youth to enable them to gain the knowledge to help them become successful adults. It is the job of the parents to impart moral and ethical standards to their children. One of the biggest causes of the decline of this great country has been this incessant desire of the government to hand hold and meddle in the lives of citizens.


As for the actual mechanics of preventing children from gambling online; it will certainly be a lot easier to prevent children from gambling if the online casinos are licensed by the U.S government and properly supervised than if they are not. In today's world there are many underage kids who look like they are of legal age, but land based casinos manage to do a very good job of keeping them out of the casinos. This is because they are licensed and supervised by government and the penalties for not keeping kids out of casinos makes it a priority for the casinos to keep kids out. The same is true with online gambling. If online casinos are licensed and proper safeguards are mandated by law then it becomes a priority to see these safeguards work. Even now, legal online casinos have extensive requirements for identification and proof of age in order to open a real money account. It is no different than stopping a child from being addicted to charging endless videos online at Netflix. You verify the identity of the account holder and that they are of legal age to sign a customer agreement and that they are the legal owner of the credit card before you send them a video. Responsible online casinos make customer identity and age verification a high priority because it is in their financial best interest to do so. To allow children to gamble would result in fines and loss of their credit processors and not lead to massive profits like the nay sayers of Mr. Bachus's ilk would like you to believe. Online casinos are not just chomping at the bit to do business with your 12 year old. Parents need to supervise their kids and make sure they are using their computers properly and this pertains to a lot more than just gambling online. No sane parent puts a credit card in the hands of a child and if your kid is stealing your credit cards, we would suspect there is alot more going on with the child than online gambling.


Mr.Bachus would also like us to believe that if online gambling were legal in the United States, college students would become gambling addicts by the thousands. Again this is typical of big government trying to teach us how to behave and legislate our behavior for us. The vast majority of college students are in college to get an education. How many of them have nothing better to do with their time than sit in their dorm room and gamble online? What happened to the dorm proctors who are supposed to supervise the dorms? What happened to the professors and guidance counselors who are suppossed to notice when kids do not show up for class? What happened to the university IT Department blocking the school's computer network from being used to access online casinos just like they have done with file sharing networks? Again, we see the truth is that Mr. Bachus doesn't believe in us as human beings. In his mind our college age children are too weak to have any backbone or moral character and only by the government passing his brand of laws to control our personal behavior is there any hope. Again, we say HOGWASH!


Now let us look at the almost racist implication that if we allow legal online gambling, our country and our children will become victims of evil foreign entities who want to drain away our finances. What we are asking for is a law that would allow the legalization and licensing of online gambling in order to permit the ownership of online casinos by American business people and companies. We are not asking that we just legalize online gambling for the benefit of the casinos that already exist but in order to create an American industry that would be successful in the same ways land based casinos are successful and that would create both jobs and massive tax revenues. So stop trying to appeal to this inbred sense of impending foreign invaders that the government is so fond of trying to use against Americans by inspiring pictures of evil foreign bankers stealing our last pennies. What we want is a vibrant and healthy American owned and operated online gambling industry that contributes to our economy.


Addiction. Addiction. Addiction. The big "A" word. The anti's love to trot this out whenever they are trying to regulate our personal behavior no matter what it is. Sex addiction, Food addiction, Drug addiction, Alcohol addiction, Tobacco addiction, Gambling addiction, Internet addiction. Addiction. Addiction. Addiction. Why don't we just ban anything that is fun and we can all just work, eat 3 meals a day, stare at the walls till we fall asleep and then get up and do it again. There are very few who actually become addicted when an industry is legal, licensed and supervised. There is a much higher likelihood that there will be a system in place for prevention, detection and treatment. When you drive gambling offshore and in secret, that's when you promote addiction. When online casinos are licensed and required to provide extensive warnings about addiction, the problem decreases and those who need help may actually get help. Frankly, Alcohol and Tobacco cause are lot more harm than gambling ever will and they are both massive industries that are both quite strong in Mr.Bachus's home state. Just one more case of hypocrisy.


Crime. That's the 3rd leg of the anti's tripod of fear, along with addiction and harm to our children. Just as with all the other issues about online gambling, it is a simple fact that keeping it illegal is more likely to lead to crime than if online gambling is legal, licensed and regulated. The way to stop money laundering and fraud is to have laws in place that ensure proper controls just like we manage to do a for a great variety of other businesses. First of all, unlike land based casinos, you can not gamble online with cash so that eliminates the biggest problem. Since all online financial transactions involve payment processors or banks, how is it any harder to supervise than any other industry that uses payment processors. If we can not tax and monitor an industry that is totally dependent on a detailed paper trail for its financial transactions, then our entire economic system is being bilked of billions and it has nothing to do with the issue of gambling. Frankly, we are convinced that the government is quite capable of coming up with a system of rules and procedures to properly record and monitor online casino's financial transactions in order to prevent fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. Maybe Mr.Bachus could advocate for the reduction of credit card interest rates from 30% down to a maximum of 8% or 10% so American's are not subjected to loan shark level interest rates by big banks instead of telling us what to do in our own homes.





We could go on and on to counter all of the anti gambling hysteria but it really comes down to one main issue. The government of the United States has a sad inclination to meddle in the personal behavior of it's citizens and try to legislate morality and ethics. They just do not have faith in us to be able to act like responsible human beings. This is both patronizing and insulting. The vast majority of us are functional people and we are quite capable of deciding when and if we should gamble online just like we know we should not get drunk and attempt to drive our cars. Online gambling has the potential to create a new industry for America with massive tax revenues and thousands of jobs as a result. The benefits far out weigh the dangers. We are individuals with free will who can make a choice of right or wrong. For the few, hapless people who can not control themselves, the casino industry will join with the government to provide the tools to help prevent and treat their problems. We do not need another prohibition. The last one didn't work out so well. Thanks to the last prohibition, we got organized crime in America and now they take 5 cents of every dollar we spend according to most sources. Let's keep the government where it belongs building the infrastructure of society and let the citizen's be responsible for their own personal choices about their recreational activities. Legalize online gambling now. You are trumped by the truth, Rep. Bachus.


Coryright wolff bachner 1.25.2010
 

bryand

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Just Across the Hudson River
Politics trumps err....politics

Nice piece casinoguru. But even if every republican in America wanted to legalize and regulate online gaming, the leader of the US senate would block it. Why?......
 

4 of a kind

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Online players can gamble 24 hours a day, seven days a week from home; children may play without sufficient age verification; and betting with a credit card can undercut a player's perception of the value of cash, leading to addiction, bankruptcy, and crime. Young people are particularly at risk because a computer in the bedroom or dorm room of a young person is a temptation that many may fall prey to."

These are in fact serious issues that require attending too, prior to legalization.


So let us get this straight Mr Bachus, A bunch of evil greedy "FOREIGNERS" are going cause people including children to gamble 24 hours a day, seven days a week with no respect for the value of money and as a result they will go bankrupt, become addicts and commit crimes.

If it were legalized it wouldn't only be the "Foreigners". American interests would no doubt get involved and preventive measures must be in place for protection of the young. Many of us here are already experienced gambling veterans. Most of us if we wanted to gamble had to go to a casino and prove our age in person. We self taught our way around, and many learned the ropes the hard way. With the way and ease the computer world has developed into, and most kids becoming computer whizzes at such a young age, I could see the developing of a great deal more gambling problems with online gambling being legalized without some serious preventive measures in place.


Before we get into his statements, let's look at an interesting fact about Mr. Bachus. To quote Wikipedia" In 2007, Bachus made trades with a number of short term stock options, betting that stocks would rise or fall for a quick profit or loss. Bachus made up to $160,000, including a bet in March that the stock market would drop that earned him between $15,000 and $50,000. Most members of Congress hold some stocks or mutual funds, but Bachus' rapid-fire trades are unusual for a leading member of Congress, particularly one with the key role of ranking member of the House Committee on Financial Services." So he is against legal gambling but betting on the fact that stocks would lose value is ok with him and he makes a profit on others losses. Anyone with half a brain will realize that selling short is the stock market equivalent of placing a bet. Talk about hypocrisy. Many people in the United States are of the opinion that selling stocks short and betting on the losses of other investors is reprehensible behavior.

I disagree with this entire statement. To me he sounds like a pretty good investor. Who are these people that think selling short is reprehensible behavior? Selling short is nothing more then a person thinking a company sucks and is overpriced. He has just has much of a risk of losing money selling short if his thinking is flawed.


On CNN, Bachus said, ""There have been studies by Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, McGill University in Canada, American Psychiatric Association - all of these say the younger someone starts gambling, the more likelihood that they become a compulsive gambler."

I agree...


The same Harvard University that Bachus quoted on CNN also released a study that showed that gambling on the internet was less likely to cause addiction than gambling in land based casinos.

This could only be an assumption since we won't know till it's legalized in the first place with years of statistics.


We seriously doubt there are more than a handful of people with the resources or the inclination to gamble online 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and no one has the right to ban any activity because a few mal-adjusted individuals have a problem. There is help available for people with these issues and they were most likely engaging in other sorts of unusual behavior long before online gambling came along. In cases like this, gambling would be the symptom, not the disease.

You have to be 21 to gamble legally. I even think that's a little young to respect and treat someone as an adult or old enough to have enough wisdom under their belt to make the right or the better decisions. Regardless, 21 is the legal age and hopefully at that age the people that get involved with gambling are in control and are capable of taking their lumps. Some college kid or any kid for that matter with fake ID could bet and lose $20.00 in 5 minutes everyday and have a serious problem.


The claim that infuriates us the most is the implication that legal online gambling will allow children to freely gamble. This is a massive insult against every parent in America. The last thing parents need is more laws by our government that try to take over the job of properly raising our children.

Just to survive today in most cases both parents have to work, with grandma or grandpa or babysitters in place for at least part or most of the day. With cooking and cleaning and all that comes into play with raising a family, most can't watch every move these computer whiz kids are doing online.

As for the actual mechanics of preventing children from gambling online; it will certainly be a lot easier to prevent children from gambling if the online casinos are licensed by the U.S government and properly supervised than if they are not. In today's world there are many underage kids who look like they are of legal age, but land based casinos manage to do a very good job of keeping them out of the casinos. This is because they are licensed and supervised by government and the penalties for not keeping kids out of casinos makes it a priority for the casinos to keep kids out. The same is true with online gambling. If online casinos are licensed and proper safeguards are mandated by law then it becomes a priority to see these safeguards work.

Now your talking...


Mr.Bachus would also like us to believe that if online gambling were legal in the United States, college students would become gambling addicts by the thousands. Again this is typical of big government trying to teach us how to behave and legislate our behavior for us. The vast majority of college students are in college to get an education. How many of them have nothing better to do with their time than sit in their dorm room and gamble online?

I knew of a collusion team of college students playing from their dorms. By the way according to my source they did pretty well.


What happened to the dorm proctors who are supposed to supervise the dorms?

Give me a break with this comment.


What happened to the university IT Department blocking the school's computer network from being used to access online casinos just like they have done with file sharing networks?

This no longer means anything. The kids are not using school computers or need to be hooked up to them anymore.




I am all for online gambling. I want the US to legalize and monitor the casinos has much has the next gambler. God only knows how much these online casinos already stole from us over this past decade. I bet it's in the billions. And we know what we're doing...

But I'm serious when I express concern for what I feel is important for the benefit of the young. I don't care what anyone says, kids are just kids. If the US could put in place serious measures to protect the young I'm all for it.
 

DogBoy001

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The fact that it's domestic casino industry protectionism at its finest is summed up in the fact that, despite all the rhetoric about the evils of on-line gambling, the US authorities (both state and federal) have absolutely no problem with IGT owning Wagerworks.

And WMS is gearing up for a 2011 launch, and other US entities will follow suit.

Apparently the "evil" on-line gaming situation is only "evil" if it's foreign enterprises taking bets from America.
If American enterprises takes bets from the rest of the world it's simply "good business".

Wooof
 

casinoguru

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4 of a Kind first of all thank you for your comments. i totally agree that kids should be protected and not just from online underage gambling. I just don't believe banning online gambling is the solution to protecting kids.


I will agree to disagree with you about short selling. i find it unsavory and the point really was that it was a highly unusual method of trading for the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee. I really wanted to stress the contrast in his moralistic opposition to online gambling and his willingness to bet on a company's performance. To many people, short selling is just another form of betting and we know the kind of trouble the economy is in because of the practices of banks and brokerage firms.

As to your comments about kids being less supervised, i still say that it is the responsibility of parents and not the government to supervise the behavior of their kids. i know parents are busy but it is not the job of our government to raise our kids. I am aware that dorm supervision may be a joke today but that isn't the fault of online gambling, that is the fault of a lax and lazy politically correct group of educational institutions that let 18 to 20 year old minors run rampage in college dorms.

I understand that kids today are good with computers and can connect without going through a college network but at the same time i do believe we can design a system that will prevent underage persons from gambling at online casinos. At some point college age kids are responsible for their own behavior. Isn't it really up to their family and their peers to teach them a proper respect for money and society and to teach them that college is a place for an education. Isn't it up to the college to deal with students who are misusing their educational opportunities. I just do not believe we need to make online gambling illegal because a few kids at college choose to gamble instead of get an education. The overwhelming majority of college kids do not gamble online. I personally believe that those who choose to gamble instead of study would be doing something else instead of studying if there was no gambling. Again, these are just laws to regulate our behavior because our government does not have faith in us as people and feels the need to control and baby sit us.

You also question the maturity of a 21 year old. i say if you are old enough to die in a war for the United States at 21 then you are old enough to gamble. 21 is the legal age of consent in the United States and at 21 we can sign contracts, have credit cards, drink alcohol etc. It boils down to the same thing again. At some point we have to let go of the apron strings and trust that people have become responsible adults. 21 is the age we have chosen and so be it. Obviously if we have legal online gambling, then we need a system in place to help those who have issues. But to ban it is wrong.


Anyone over 21 can go to a racetrack, a casino or an off track betting parlor. the real difference is ease of access. It is easier to gamble online. should we also ban shopping online because it is easier to compulsively shop online? Again this is an issue of controlling personal behavior.

and i agree 100% that these are all serious issues and there needs to be a strong set of rules in place in advance of online casinos being allowed to open. But it can be done. My point here is that the arguments against legal online gambling are a smokescreen to protect land based gambling and to control private personal behavior.


My hope is that we can develop a profitable American owned and serviced online gambling industry that will be a benefit to our economy. One that will be based on laws and regulations that address the issues and prevent wrong doing and misuse. Life has shown us that there will always be a small percentage of people who abuse or become addicted to many things; some of which are beneficial to the vast majority of people. When people abuse medicines we don't ban them. we regulate and control them. The same is needed for online gambling. Regulation and control. Keeping it illegal puts every online gamblers at risk of being cheated and drives billions of dollars offshore. This is not the answer. Legalization is the answer.
 

casinoguru

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Bryand great comment!

were you referring to the beloved Sen. Reid who shamelessly blocks legal online gambling while he shills for all the land based casinos in his state of Nevada?!!!! LOL:lolup:
 

bryand

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Bryand great comment!

were you referring to the beloved Sen. Reid who shamelessly blocks legal online gambling while he shills for all the land based casinos in his state of Nevada?!!!! LOL:lolup:

Exactly.

There were many great discussions here during the presidential elections about politics and online gaming. Some members really thought the republicans were the problem.
 

casinoguru

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Sadly, i do not think it really matters anymore about political parties. Politicians no longer seem to care what those of us who elect them think. They are concerned with doing whatever it takes to stay in power and live in a world that is so far from the world we live in it is scary. Can we say "TERM LIMITS."
 

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