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March 23, 2012 Print

State Online Gambling Bills Headed to the Graveyard

by Chad Hills

States are sending online gambling bills to the grave in the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions. Outside of Nevada and Illinois, most states are not sure if they want to open Pandora’s Box of Internet gambling.

The following states have recently dispatched online gambling bills:

At the federal level – particularly after the Poker Players Alliance’s advocate, Rep. Barney Frank, announced his retirement and the FBI shut down the three largest online poker sites on “Black Friday” – nothing is moving, and chances are slim for future movement at the federal level.

Nevada’s Sen. Harry Reid tried to fast-track federal legislation during the lame-duck session, but since Internet gambling would have been a poison pill for any lame-duck session of Congress, and it went nowhere.

After the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued an untimely legal opinion (that only online sports wagering is illegal, other forms may be legal if states allow it), the battle quickly changed from the federal arena to individual state efforts.

Professor John W. Kindt, an expert researcher in gambling policy, felt this was an intentionally illusive move by the DOJ with untold negative consequences. Although this was only a legal opinion from the DOJ – easily overturned by a new Congressional Administration in 2013 – the online gambling cartel zealously went ‘all in’ and began lobbying individual states.

Cyber-gambling opportunists quickly jumped on the state-gambling bandwagon, and began lobbying states to decriminalize Internet gambling.

This is where the California-based U.S. Digital Gaming Inc. came into the picture. They are a group lobbying for other states in the U.S. to decriminalize online gambling and use U.S. Digital Gaming services to initiate and facilitate Internet gambling operations. It’s a clever scheme, but very predatory in nature.

See this U.S. Digital Gaming Connections Chart to visually link investors, founders, CEO’s with other well-known people and companies.

Overview: U.S. Digital Gaming Connections

Co-Founders:

  • Richard D. Bronson – Chairman of the Board at US Digital Gaming Inc., largely responsible for launching this Beverly Hills, California-based online gambling business in 2009. Bronson’s worked with Wynn and MGM casinos, as well as Native-American gambling interests and property development projects; Director and Chairman of Starwood Property Trust Inc. More …
  • Richard Baskin – Co-Chairman of U.S. Digital Gaming  – Co-Founded Intertainer Inc. ; has worked with digital technology, music and the entertainment-film industries. More …
  • Scott Painter – founded Zag.com Inc., and serves as its Chief Executive Officer; co-founded TrueCar, Inc. and serves as its Chief Executive Officer.  More …

CEO:

  • Jon Richmond – appointed CEO for U.S. Digital in June, 2011; former FOX and Walt Disney Senior Executive. More …

Supporting Investors:

  • William S. Taubman – U.S. Digital Gaming Investor – (son of billionaire, Alfred Taubman, brother of Robert Taubman)  More …
  • Robert S. Taubman – U.S. Digital Gaming Investor – (son of billionaire, Alfred Taubman, brother of William Taubman)  More …
  • Steven Roth – U.S. Digital Gaming Investor  More …
  • Herbert Simon – U.S. Digital Gaming Investor – More background …  (also Director at the Cheesecake Factory Inc. and co-owner of the Indiana Pacers NBA basketball team)

We don’t know the hearts and minds of these people launching this U.S. Digital Gaming Inc. endeavor, but we do know that gambling addiction destroys families and lives. Internet casinos/lotteries would bring gambling into homes 24 hours a day – seven days a week – 365 days a year. Accessibility plus availability breeds addiction.

In the Bible, 1 Timothy 6:3-10 warns us about the love of money and how “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” We see this everyday among casino bosses and their lobbyists.

Matthew 7:15-23 tells us that we can know a “tree” by the kind of fruit it produces. Gambling produces addiction, greed, bankruptcy, crime, destruction of marriages, ruined families and increased depression and suicide.

What kind of “tree” is gambling, in your opinion? Should states be planting and growing this predatory vice?

Maybe we should let these businessmen know that we disapprove of online gambling.

Dig Deeper …



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