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December 12, 2012 Print

2012 Lame-Duck Session – Possible Stealth Internet-Gambling Bill

by Chad Hills

Purportedly, a “Reid-Kyl Internet poker” bill exists in “draft” form, awaiting attachment to a must-pass bill in the lame-duck session. According to several news sources, the 73-page “draft” bill would legalize Internet poker. But the majority of Congress and the public are unaware of the online-gambling bill’s exact content.

What we do know is that this bill was crafted by the casino lobby, it’s being pushed by the casino lobby and it benefits the casino lobby.  This legislation does not have the well-being of citizens, families or our nation in mind.

Inevitable Consequences of Internet Gambling:

 

The Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation has created an online-gambling fact sheet to email your U.S. Representatives and Senators to warn them about this alleged Reid-Kyl lame-duck online-gambling bill. This effort to shove Internet gambling into a must-pass bill, by Senator Reid, is very similar to the 2010 lame-duck session. As always, prevention of a problem bill beforehand is always a better strategy than treatment of the consequences in hindsight.

 

Dig Deeper …

 



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  • Chad Hills

    Chad comment:
    Hello Folks,
    I’m having trouble posting comments, so I’ll have to do this somewhat manually:
    Comments copy-pasted with replies below. Thanks for your patience.
    -Chad

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    Matthew comments:
    Hello Mr. Hills. How about posting my earlier comment?
    _____________________
    Chad replies:
    Yeah, sorry about that, Matthew … I’m having some problems with posting blog comments, so I’m having to do it manually, which has caused a slight delay. It’s not intentional.
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    Matthew comments:
    Your “Inevitable Consequences of Internet Gambling” points are outrageous, completely blown out of proportion and/or false, and are totally laughable. It makes me sad that people actually believe the #!*% that you write. A little bit of research quickly blows massive holes in most of your above points.
    For example, your first point, that states that gambling addiction is already a bigger problem in the US than alcoholism, is an absurd conclusion to draw based on the cited research. The research you cited does not even attempt to define or mention “gambling addiction” and/or “alcoholism.” A small part of it compares “alcohol dependence” to “problem gambling” by age. The study does find that, for some age categories, “problem gambling” is higher, from which you somehow draw the absurd conclusion that gambling addiction is a bigger problem than alcoholism. It’s debatable if “alcohol dependence” and “problem gambling,” as defined in the study can even be fairly compared, much less morphed into “alcoholism” and “gambling addiction” for comparison. Plus, you are drawing this sweeping conclusion on the findings of a single study! Anyone with a modicum of understanding of scientific research knows how absolutely inane it is to draw conclusions on the basis of a single study.
    You have a severe problem with altering research results and/or facts on these issues, to meet your own personal agenda towards trying to take away the rights of law-abiding citizens, under the guise of “protecting families.” You are a total sham.
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    Chad replies:
    Well, evidently, I’m a sham, according to you and so many others who advocate for more gambling. I also lack “a modicum of understanding,” apparently. If the accusations were to go any further, I might be classified as a cotton-headed-ninny-muggins.

    One question, Matthew: Are you a South Pole Elf? Sorry, I just had to bring a bit of levity into our discussion from the movie, “Elf”. It’s almost Christmas, after all.

    Anyway, just so the public knows, the gambling lobby has called the FBI “liars,” and has done likewise to anyone else who happens tarnish gambling’s “wholesome” reputation. (Hmm, is there a pattern here?)
    Now, comparing gambling addiction versus gambling addiction is an apples-to-oranges scenario, I agree. But both are costly addictions to our society and they both destroy lives and families. So, when this study claims one vice addiction is more prevalent than another, it simply indicates that gambling addiction is a serious and prolific problem. But I’m sure the Harvard “researchers” working for – and funded by – the casinos can flush out the details in this “silly” report, and gambling will come out looking just as wonderful and benign as ever. :0)
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    John M. comments:

    Mr. Hills, do you realize that states can already pass online poker regulations? Reid/Kyl requires states to opt in through their legislature, much like they would have to do now. States may also network their online poker. I understand your opposition to online poker and respect that opinion but you do realize that if Reid/Kyl passes then expansion of online slots in states would be banned? If it fails to pass states would be allowed to offer online slots which negates your concern about online slots coming later, states can already pass them now and they are coming in DE and GA! Reid/Kyl would prevent DE and GA from even launching slots. It is actually an anti gambling bill if you think about it. You may want to read it because I don’t think you understand it at this point.
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    Chad replies:

    Most states will require a constitutional amendment to allow Internet gambling, and there are a handful of states with laws expressly forbidding Internet gambling. Yes, I’m aware of this. The bill to which you refer (actually only in “draft” form … has not been formally introduced and assigned a bill number) is a “sister” bill to the earlier Barton bill. It’s being ‘paraded’ among conservatives as a “restrictive” bill that will protect people from “other bad types of gambling” – only allowing Internet poker into homes, schools, libraries and businesses. Yes, I’m aware of this bill.

    Too, I’m aware that this bill was a concession to the NFL to get their lobby off gambling’s back. Unfortunately, the NFL has been duped into believing this is an end-all bill. It’s not. It’s only the beginning – a ‘foot in the door,’ if you will. Full-blown casino gambling and sports gambling are the next targets, if online gambling is successful in getting passed in Congress. The NFL has co-opted several conservative groups into its pseudo-reality, as well.

    I understand this bill perfectly well, but I don’t think the Internet gambling lobby is being completely honest with Congress or the public about what it will do. Gambling is gambling, whether it’s online poker, online casino gambling or any other form of gambling. It’s unfortunate that other conservative groups have “bitten” this bait. My goal is to be sure more are not duped, and the truth gets out about this bill.
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    Jerry comments:

    You and your organization are as bad as those union thugs that beat up that Fox News contributor. You are advocating using the coercive power of the state to prevent people from engaging in voluntary transactions. Using the barrel of a gun to get your way is certainly not what Christ would do. You guys know better.

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    Chad replies:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Jerry. Interesting that you see us this way … I’m just trying to expose the underlying truth with this issue, because the online gambling lobby is not telling the whole truth to states or Congress. Again, we have proof from a software engineer and the FBI that online gambling sites cannot effectively prevent minors from gambling, nor can they effectively prevent money laundering. Don’t we want our federal and state governments to know the whole truth before the vote on an issues? Then again, I suppose the whole truth would kill the gambling empire, if the dangers and harms associated with gambling – and Internet gambling, in particular – were truly known.

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