Regulation, Not Prohibition, Found as Best Online Gambling Policy
Discussion last week during the markup of H.R. 2267, Barney Frank's measure regulating online gambling, led to the expressed belief by the majority of the House Financial Services Committee that oversight is the proper policy regarding Internet gaming, as opposed to the UIGEA ban. Even though Spencer Bachus, the ranking Republican and a determined foe of gambling expansion, described horror stories of gaming, listeners said his anecdotes only confirmed the failure of the Internet casino prohibition.
Bachus used a newspaper story in the Orlando Sentinel, which he repeatedly confused with the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, to illustrate the dangers of gambling. According to Bachus, the article spoke of 12-year-olds hooked on gambling, and desperate calls to problem gambling help lines.
But Representative Mary Jo Kilroy of Ohio retorted that the existence of the story shows the failure of the UIGEA to block casino sites, leaving regulation of gambling operators as the only responsible course. Over 5000 calls to counselors addressing compulsive gambling issues demonstrates the need to protect residents left in danger by the problematic prohibition.
John Campbell, a Republican from California, joined in the criticism of the UIGEA, saying regulation and oversight should replace the payment processing ban, which has been cited for its placement of unreasonable enforcement duties on the financial industry.
The argument that the technology doesn't exist to properly regulate online gambling has also faded, as Democratic Congressman Gary Peters of Michigan testified players can be identified as to the state of origin, and the ability to require proper age checks can easily be included.
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