Politics and Zealotry Loom Ahead for Internet Casino Bill
Nobody in the Internet casino industry is surprised the familiar foes of regulated online gambling are marshaling their forces to resist the passage of Barney Frank's new bill. While some celebrated prematurely, in what iMEGA chairman Joe Brennan, Jr., called a display of "completely unqualified enthusiasm," others knew the hardest parts are ahead.
Once again, Spencer Bachus is quick to utter absurdities into whatever microphones come near him, apparently figuring it doesn't have to be the truth if you say it often enough.
“Illegal offshore Internet gambling sites are a criminal enterprise," says Bachus in a tautology. He neglects to note if they are legalized, they will, of course, not be criminal enterprises.
Bachus also states that "...allowing them (online casinos) to operate unfettered in the United States would present a clear danger to our youth, who are subject to becoming addicted to gambling at an early age.”
Gaming experts note that Bachus' claims of addiction belie most modern evidence, but his rhetoric reflects strongly-held convictions of the social conservatives that form his base.
"In certain circles, what Bachus parrots is considered to be proved beyond question, without ever an objective consideration," says sociologist Gerald Holdenstein.
When told that concerns about problem gambling and child participation would be addressed by modern developments in software, Bachus told the New York Times that "such security measures are inherently unreliable, can be trivially circumvented and will fail at high rates.”
Online gambling operators point to success with such programs in the United Kingdom, but also realize Bachus may not believe his own words, and certainly will not disavow them, as he plays a cynical political game.
"At least he's no longer telling everyone one-third of US teenagers who gamble attempt suicide anymore," said one casino owner, speaking of a disproved wild claim Bachus made to rally troops against Frank's last gaming bill.
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