Why Obama Should Legalize Online Gambling

President Obama should in fact legalize online gambling for numerous reasons. The first and most important one is that by prohibiting it, Americans who have the means to still gamble amidst the prohibition are doing so by using illegal internet casinos, some of which are used by Al Qaeda to launder money, and foment terrorism growth and operations. The other major reason is that the economy will benefit as billions in taxes will be generated from this regulation, not to mention thousands of jobs. The economy is in its worse shape this generation has seen on a global basis. The credit crisis has hit so hard, that even former FED chair Alan Greenspan has come out to say he was wrong about certain maneuvers that were taken place during his latest term as FED chair. Major corporations are cutting jobs, others have gone bankrupt, countries such as Argentina and other second world countries have called for help to the International Monetary Fund. Goldman Sachs, the premier investment banking firm in the world has declared it will cut its workforce. And lastly, chartists and speculators claim the DOW might fall below 5,000 over the course of the 09-10 leaving all value behind.

To put it simply, the world is REALLY becoming a difficult place to live as companies and governments struggle to make ends meet all across the board. As far as the online gambling industry is concerned, it was legal for its citizens to play and it was also legal to advertise online. This until 2004, when a bill called the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Act) was passed by Congress, therefore making the whole industry illegal. After this took place, many major corporations went broke, and a lot lost a high percentage of income as US citizens were simply not allowed to play and gamble online. Numerous politicians argued the case as the industry would indeed earn billions for the government if properly regulated the industry, but the bills that were recently put into motion such as the one from Barney Frank (HR 5767) fell just short of acceptance.

Some Americans who actually have the means to open foreign accounts and who actually really do want to gamble do so anyway in today’s world as the ban is not properly put into place, and the worst part of this issue is that the government could be making billions if they properly looked at the industry, and regulated it and taxed it instead of negligently banning it. This of course is the main issue as to why President Obama would indeed legalize the industry given the fact that the economy has been hit in a sharp manner in his country, and legal entities struggle to survive. In fact, Mr. Obama is in favor of this industry being legalized as he has voted IN FAVOR to government regulation in recent industry related bills.

His favorable view along with an economic recession leading into depression might indeed make for a perfect storm leading the government into regulation and the cessation of the UIGEA ban not to mention a stop of funding terrorism bt Americans using illegal terrorist owned casinos. This point alone combined with the fact that the European Commission has recently formally complained to the World Trade Organization regarding the fact that the USA is acting in an illegal manner by banning foreign companies to trade in their soil (the agreement binds the USA to let this industry and others into action in the US market) are two major points that the new US government will have in favor to lift the ban.

Mobile Smart Phone Payments to Merge With Legalized Online Gambling in the Future

If you want to predict the future you need to study all the forward progression in multiple technologies and venues. This is something that I do. Now then, it should be quite evident to anyone who is watching that 2012 will be the year of mobile smart phone payments. In fact, it’s already starting, where people can order a Starbucks cup of coffee from their iPhone while they are in line and pay with their rewards prepaid Starbucks Gold Card, via their mobile phone.

And there are other big players getting involved such as Google, Citigroup, and most of the online social networks. Soon you will be able to use your smart phone and the SIMS card inside to verify who you are and make payments at the cash registers just by waving your phone over a scanner. You will also be able to buy items from vending machines, and in some places you can already do this with your cell phone. Another thing I see on its way has to do with the merging of mobile smart phone payments with online gambling.

Today, almost everywhere the United States online gambling is illegal, but that will soon be changing. In fact some of the major casinos in the United States, and in other places around the world are investing in online gaming sites, some of these sites have tens of thousands of users and players.

There was an interesting article the other day in the Wall Street Journal on March 31, 2011 titled “Web Poker Plays a New Hand – Casino Owners Team up with Online Gaming Sites to Legalize Internet Gambling,” by Alexandra Berzon.

In the article it made mention of Steve Wynn Resorts and Casinos, which has invested in some online gaming sites. With that sort of money and political clout behind online gaming, it is only a matter of time before it is legalized. Perhaps it will be legalized first for those players who reside in Nevada, but eventually it will be legalized everywhere and taxed.

Many states need additional tax revenue, so you can be sure they will be considering this. Even though the State of New Jersey had the online gambling bill which was introduced and finally vetoed by the governor, it’s only a matter of time until they give in as well.

Now then, in the future we will probably see kiosks where you can pass your phone over a scanner and then sit down to begin playing. I would suspect that these sorts of things will happen at international airports in the free trade area. And eventually they will be perhaps at bus stops, coffee shops, and other places where people sit down for a while and relax.

Of course, we better hope that people do not gamble online and drive as they do when they text message. Yes, there are lots of details to work out, but you can bet that this is on the horizon and will be an ever present part of our society within the next 4 to 5 years. Indeed I hope you’ll please consider all this and think on it.

What Countries Allow Online Gambling

The world of internet gambling is strictly regulated and it is important to first be aware of what countries allow online gambling before you start. Online casinos have experienced a steady growth in popularity over the past few years, with more and more people registering with sites in order to enjoy their favorite casino games.

You will find a few countries around the world where this practice is legal and many of them house servers that are accessible to people residing in countries where it is not. This means that if you live in a country where gambling online is banned, you might still be able to play by dialing into a server that is hosted outside of your country.

The United States of America

It is true that more and more countries are realizing the benefits of legalizing internet gambling and are actively taking steps toward this. However, the law governing the prohibition of internet gambling in America is somewhat unclear. The estimate is that approximately 70 percent of US citizens make up the internet gambling population and suffer little consequences because of it. It may be that the situation is difficult to monitor and regulate because gambling online happens in the privacy of your home and not in the public eye.

Online Gambling Around The World

You can do a simple search online to find out what countries allow online gambling. The list below reflects a few of these where online gambling is legal:

Australia
Belgium
Canada
France
Germany
Gibraltar
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Liechtenstein
Macau
Malta
New Zealand
Panama
Philippines
Poland
Russia
Scandinavia
Singapore
Spain
Switzerland

Countries like Argentina, Mexico and a few Asian countries have all started the process of legalizing online gambling.

Enforcement and Regulation

Although the internet gambling industry is heavily regulated, experts admit that it is difficult to monitor because of its fairly anonymous nature. This poses a problem where online gambling is banned because it is virtually impossible to pinpoint players in the country who sign on from their homes. This begs the argument that why ban online gambling at all if it is so easily accessible and difficult to monitor? Regulation remains easier than prohibition in most cases and the trend seems to show that more and more countries are realizing this.

It is best to properly investigate what countries allow online gambling to ensure that you are on the right side of the law when enjoying your favorite casino games. This will also guarantee that you get to keep whatever winnings you make online.

Online Gambling in the US – What’s Next?

As it stands today, individual states are free to prohibit or practice gambling within their borders while significant regulations and limits are placed on interstate and this activity. In recent years, online gaming has seen harsher regulations. With the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIEGA), it was not explicitly banned but rather it was online financial transactions that were outlawed. This meant that all online financial transactions from gambling service providers were now illegal which resulted in many offshore gambling operators excluding US customers from their services.

Existing in this legal grey area, it is no longer a question of if online gambling will enter the US market but when and perhaps how. As recently as this month, three states have legalized online gambling and plan to begin offering bets by the end of this year. Naturally, a gaming firm in Las Vegas known as Ultimate Gaming was the first to offer online poker but for now restricting it to only players in Nevada. New Jersey and Delaware have also legalized online gambling and so far ten other states are considering legalizing it in some form or another.

Frank Fahrenkopf, president of the American Gaming Association has said that “Unless there is a federal bill passed, we are going to have the greatest expansion of legalized gambling in the United States. I don’t think that’s what anyone intended, but it is what we’re seeing.” This poses a lot of questions and of course concerns for many existing commercial casinos as well as American policy makers. Will legal online gambling mean fewer people in brick and mortar casinos? Will this create a new source of revenue at the state and national level? What about taxes and regulations? An increase in gamblers?

Many people including Arnie Wexler, former chairman of New Jersey’s Council On Compulsive Gambling has voiced concern that with all the good this could do to generate income and revenue for individual states there could be problems with an increase in compulsive gambling. There is particular concern regarding social media in the US as some places like Zynga have already begun taking real-money bets.

Taking in mind all the questions and concerns, many hotel casinos are already making plans to expand into online gambling to complement their physical casinos. Geoffrey Stewart, general manager of Caesars Online Poker has said “Like any other business, you’re always looking for what is the next distribution channel.”

The First Steps to Legal Online Gambling

Knowing what countries have legal online gambling is very beneficial information to individuals who choose to use gambling online as a means of earning cash. Seeing that the cost of living has increased and everyone is looking for a way to earn extra cash they may turn to online gambling as it can be done at anytime once you have access to a computer and the internet, it can be done confidentially and in the comfort of your home. Since we are in the age of technology, knowing what states have legal online gambling is simply a click away. So before actually logging on to the websites which provide online gambling you should conduct a search on your country or state to ensure that it is legal.

Information on what states have legal online gambling can be provided to you by the gambling association for your country or state. Now seeing that technology has improved over the years, this information is only a click away and if you are not able to access it via the internet, you can get their phone number at least online and shoot them an email or give them a call to access this information. This information is very vital to an individual, because it would allow them to know their rights, as well as the laws and legislation relating to online gambling in their country or state.

While conducting my search to find what states have legal online gambling I discovered that each state has their own specific laws and legislation. More than this however, each state is always changing and updating their legislature so a list of states where it is legal to gamble online may quickly become outdated. So therefore if an individual decides they’d like to try a hand at online gambling, then they need to be mindful that when sourcing information on whether it is legal to gamble online in their state or country they need to be aware of the most recent rulings on gambling.

An additional advantage for visiting or phoning your gaming association would be that it allows you to acquire a better understand of the laws and legislation as some of them may be a bit complicated and you might misinterpret what it actually says. In closing, keep in mind that you should find out if online gambling is legal in your country or state before you actually enter the gaming industry, so good luck.

Legalizing Online Gambling

I would like to take this opportunity to commend Barney Frank, the United States House Representative for Massachusetts. Frank has been proactive in the fight to legalize online gambling. With the economy the way it is, legalizing online gambling is essential. According to “The Safe And Secure Internet Gambling Initiative” this would create 32,000 jobs, and about $57 billion in tax revenue over the next five years. With unemployment nearing ten percent, and states and local governments scrambling to close budget gaps, we, as a nation, have no other choice but to legalize internet gambling. It deeply saddens me to see this once proud and powerful country of ours in the shape that it’s currently in. Despite what President Obama says, the economy is a mess and more jobs are being loss then those gained.

Many people are going to be opposed to this, citing safety and fraud issues, however there are safeguards being discussed that will minimize this. Among those are protecting children with the use of safety controls like personal information verification derived from one’s credit history. This will ensure that no one under the age of eighteen will partake in any form of gambling. There are also compulsive gambling safeguards, like tracking unusual activity, and toll free numbers to call to get help with problem gambling. Secure financial transactions is also a key issue. Payments to an Internet gambling operator could be held in escrow, giving consumers an opportunity to contest unauthorized transactions. Hopefully President Obama will do the right thing and get this initiative moving so we can return to being the world’s superpower.

Efforts to Legalize Online Gambling Again in the USA

The lobbying efforts to get Online Poker legalized in the country are only getting stronger. Poker lobbyists are backed by the multi-million dollar offshore gambling companies which are based in Antigua, Malta and other foreign sanctuaries. The lobbying efforts have been successful to some extent with the Obama administration agreeing to delay the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) til June 2010. This has given some reprieve to online gaming operators who argue that if gaming is regularized in the United States it could generate billions of dollars of tax for the Administration. However not all are convinced. Opponents argue that online gambling would increase crime rate, threaten children and increase the overall percentage of Americans addicted to gambling. Some of the major opponents are National Football League, Focus on the Family and Republican Senators like Jon Kyl from Arizona.

The primary support for legalizing online gambling are from Rep. Barney Frank (Mass.) and other Democrats who are leaving no stone unturned to legalize online gambling in the United States. Till this time online gaming lobbyists have spent more than $4 million in lobbying efforts to convince lawmakers that prohibition of online gaming is not a great idea. Other supporters include former Republican senator Alfonse M. D’Amato (N.Y.), chairman of the Poker Players Alliance who is the Chairman of the Poker Players Alliance. The Poker Players Alliance has 1.2 million members and funded by the Interactive Gaming Council, a Canada-based trade group for offshore gambling firms. John Papas, Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance feels that prohibition is not going to succeed in any of the objectives for which it is intended. Another strong supporter of online gambling is Richard A. Gephardt whose firm is lobbying for PokerStars, a large poker gambling firm based in the Isle of Man.

The opposition to online gaming is also very vociferous and strong. It includes the four major US sports leagues, religious groups and some casinos. Their argument states that online gambling and poker will take gambling right into the living rooms of Americans which is a dangerous proposition. It is fair as long as gambling is confined to ‘brick and mortar’ casinos or a lottery store. In US online gambling is illegal under a 1961 law which was focused on bookies using telephone lines for taking bets. The UIGEA is aimed to iron out any ambiguities that are present with Internet gambling. The new law will prevent banks from accepting credit card payments, checks or any other form of electronic payment related to online gambling. However, the hard lobbying by Poker Alliance and even the financial institutions has put it on hold til June ’10. Though the Obama administration is officially neutral on the issue, it needs to be seen which direction the boat sails after June.