The presence of computers or similar devices everywhere or in several places at the same time facilitates on-line gambling. Today, anybody can make wagers using personal computers from the comfort of home or possibly from his office. Such gambling act creates great concern for the society as more and more gambling-related problems have been surfacing from the horizon (Stevenson). With the rising number of dishonest games, unsecured financial transactions, and dubious operators connected with organized crimes, on-line wagering or gambling needs stricter control or possibly complete prohibition.
With the above-mentioned views, I oppose on-line games of chance for money. Two opposing views now exist on internet gambling. One group says no to online gambling while the counterpart group wants lifting the ban on internet wagering. On July 23, 1998, the Senate passed the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act of 1997 having a vote of 90 – 10. This Act prohibits and penalizes anyone who places, receives, or makes bet or wager using the Internet or similar service in any State. Similarly, this Act also prohibits and penalizes anyone who engages in the business of betting using the Internet or similar interactive services.
This Act amends the Federal Criminal Code. This Act, however, gives some exceptions for state lotteries, jai-alai, and horse racing. 2 From the early Internet service years, the U S Congress has been trying to prohibit on-line wagering. This curtailment was made according to reports that some new breeds of casino operators and financiers have been invading more and more homes with on-line gambling. The first on-line casino site started on August 18, 1995, cites Janower and from that very day, this fast-emerging on-line betting site has brought a very delicate social and political ramification.
The facilitating factors ushered by the availability of portable computers such as laptops and some handy gadgets like PDAs, have greatly boosted online gambling. Consequently, keen observers implicate the surge to creating more crimes, producing more compulsive and addicted gamblers, and doing much unnecessary spending. Gambling through the internet has been compared by the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling (NCALG) to an open window, which crooks, thieves, and predators can enter any home or office.
Though there are existing laws on virtual gaming and gambling, both state and Federal laws have some loopholes, which need repair and adjustment. Besides, there is difficulty prosecuting some out-of-state cyberspace gambling operators. The same situation holds true for prosecuting on-line gaming operators situated at foreign countries. The need for new legal frameworks for the emerging technological problems has now become imperative. On-line gambling has been creating some direct and indirect effects to individuals and community.
Concerning this, authorities have started self-examination on the effects of state legalization, in pursuing for additional revenues, on particular communities. This 3 position has become more acute considering that various forms of on-line gambling do exist now in more states than before. In particular, some have attained the “legal” status like casino gambling in more states. Viewpoints from Various Organizations On the position board, several organizations have their own views regarding on-line gambling.
One of these organizations worth mentioning is the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) that has its own original stand on on-line gaming. This group of state lawmakers meets regularly discussing or talking about some current issues on gaming. The council claims that it does not promote or oppose gaming and their objective is mainly on the proper regulation of the gaming industry. By attending the NCLGS meetings, legislators, regulators, and other public officials gain a better perspective and understanding of the gaming industry.
Some of the issues that have been discussed in meetings include: internet and telephone account wagering; the impacts of problem gambling; and other issues. NCLGS meetings generate current gaming issues that legislators need to know. The position of the National Churches (NCC) on gambling reflects its principles concerning the struggle to alleviate conditions of people living in “poverty and powerlessness. ” NCC portrays itself as a leader in advocacy and educational endeavors relating to the causes of impoverished and violent living.
The Federal Trade Commission, on the other side, is a government agency that also shows concerns on on-line gambling. FTC administers laws that deal with truthful advertising or price fixing. As a matter of fact, this agency deals with almost anything 4 that relates to economic lives of Americans. From 1938, this agency has been given authority by Congress in policing unfair and deceptive trade practices. The Bureau of Consumer Protection, Competition, and Economics, assists FTC in carrying out the agency’s workload.
Further help is supported by the office of General Counsel and some regional offices. The stigmas on on-line gambling have shown two faces of the controversial coin: the pros and the cons sides. Organizations or groups on the pros side favor the prohibition or to some extent, regulation of on-line gambling and other related activities. Groups on the cons side, on the other hand, show otherwise, or firmly assert the existence, and to some extent, the legalization of cyberspace gambling and related activities.
With the signing by the President of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) on October 13, 2006, some supporters of the Act have surfaced coming from law enforcement, from 319 out of 435 members of the House of Representatives, from Sports Organizations, from Family and Social Welfare Organizations, and from Religious Organizations. Against Gambling On the pros side is the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling (NCALG). This organization was formed in 1994. It seeks to protect the nation’s health and economy with memberships coming from concerned individuals.
This organization compiles data on the effects of gambling in relation to personal, social, and economic, and, public health. Pieces of information gathered are sent to individuals and policy makers. Officers and directors are unpaid volunteers that also serve as officers of their 5 very own state organization. NCALG has a sister organization, the National Coalition Against Gambling Expansion (NCAGE). This organization assists other organization in overcoming attempts of spreading out organized gambling in greater number, size, or importance.
It also helps in the possibility of rolling back organized gambling activities. Some back-up pieces of information have been created by NCALG through its Gambling Information Center, which in itself is a comprehensive library of up-to-date facts available. Currently, NCALG has published some self-help manuals on curbing gambling addiction. Aside from NCALG, other links that give valuable information on the social impacts of gambling are given on the West Warwick site. Another interest group on the pros side is the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).
This organization started in 1907 aiming at fulfilling the Attorneys General’s responsibilities in rendering good quality legal services to the states. The association declares its aims “to foster interstate cooperation on legal and law enforcement issues, to conduct policy research and analysis of issues, and facilitate communication between the state’s chief legal officers and all levels of government. ” Members of the organization also include the chief legal officers coming from other territories like American Samoa, Virgin Islands, and Guam.
The US Attorney General serves as an honorary member of the organization. Attorneys General act as the chief legal officers of the state, commonwealth, and territories of the US. They serve as counselors to state government agencies and legislatures representing public interest. The Association chooses its officers yearly through popular election. Due to the effect of the sudden rise of gambling, the Congress in 1996 created the National Gambling Study 6 Commission tasked to study the social and economic impact of legalized gambling.
Occasionally, NAAG conducts training for necessary updates on various subjects. The association also invites keynote speakers to shed light on the topic. Some of the earlier topics presented include cybercrime, which dealt on identity theft, and internet gambling. One of the reasons why State Attorneys General want to have federal laws on internet gambling is due to lack of protection given to citizens if internet gambling is transmitted into another states. According to U. S.
Senator Jon Kyle (R-Arizona), internet gambling threatens to disrupt each state’s careful balancing of its own public concern. In Favor of Gambling On the cons side is the Poker Players Alliance (PPA). This organization has joined the growing number that asserts on legalizing internet gambling especially land-based and on-line poker. PPA, a Las Vegas-based organization, has put efforts lobbying the US government to make legal the poker internet as well as the land-based poker gaming. The alliance is a non-profit organization supported by members, who are themselves poker players, across the US.
The organization’s main objective is to protect and promote what they consider as the America’s best-liked past time “at the table and on-line” says Poker Players Alliance website. They pursue this objective through advocacy effort from the nation’s capital to every corner of the country. To increase supporters—and funding—the organization invites poker aficionados to become member for a fee. This is also a factor that helps influencing the legislator’s decision as well as increasing the public awareness and opinions about poker and its players.
On the other side, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), a known trade group in Washington DC also 7 shows it disfavor against the act that would block the process of electronic transfer between on-line casinos and US gamblers. This group represents some 5,000 community banks across the US. Another organization on the cons side is the National Right for On-line Gaming (NROG) that has asserted its stand fighting against on-line gambling ban. NROG is a non-profit organization that seeks to inform and educate both on-line gamblers and non-gamblers about the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act (H. R. 4411).
The organization’s executive director, Brian Jakusik, has felt that there’s a need for public about on-line gaming ban in the Congress. Brian believes that even non-players will support the NROG campaign for fighting against the ban because it involves questions on personal freedom. With NROG’s plans, the association works on fund-raising and on increasing memberships while at the same time, making contacts in Washington DC. The association accepts donations, too.
Meanwhile, other opinion writers like Hahn and Tetlock have both opined that such a “blanket prohibition of on-line gambling is premature” to the point of being counterproductive. The effects of the new US anti-online gambling law, which initially stemming on line gamblers located in Costa Rica and the Caribbean countries have now been causing substantial effects to European counterparts, too, as blogger John reports. Other institutions fight directly or indirectly due to substantial gains from on-line gambling as US on-line gambling reached almost $6 billion, which is half of the $12 billion worldwide market.