Gambling Issue On Both Sides Of Legislative Coin

Published on: February 9, 2008 

There is no doubt in any politician’s mind that gambling is here to stay and is a relevant issue as the United States draws closer to its next Presidential election.  The amount of money that has gone into lobbying issues on both sides of the legislative coin is staggering, heating up the controversy even more.  While some political pundits are for legalized gambling and the revenue money it could provide states – especially ones that are suffering budgetary deficits – the other side of the political fence is rallying against the promotion of a dangerous addiction.  

It was bad enough when gambling was limited to live casinos and slot machines in places like Atlantic City and Las Vegas.  With the advent of Internet gambling and online poker, the debate has risen to a new level.  Those in favour of regulation are the gambling groups, the majority of which are the companies that run the online gambling websites.  They go hand in hand with the pro politicians who see the value of the money that is brought in.

On the other side of the coin is the anti gambling groups, which happen to include the NBA and NFL.  Both have attempted to block online gambling, wanting to make sure that their business is kept ‘clean’ and ‘professional’.  The NBA alone paid out a total of $330,000.00 to McGuirewoods Consulting to lobby Congress against online gambling.  What is interesting to note here is that both the NBA and NFL are set up in such a structure that it actually promotes gambling.  

As of right now, online gamblers in the United States are unable to collect earnings on their winnings in any form of usable cash.  It is illegal for banks and credit card companies to process payments from online gambling websites.  If online gambling is legalized, Congress will have to propose a way to regulate and tax online gambling and the money these website’s customers win.  

While the Senate and Congress are ultimately the ones that will pass or deny the final decision on Internet gambling it will not be paid without the say of the voters.  As both sides battle to win over the public, the pull of the NBA and NFL may overwhelm all.  They have the money to lobby the loudest.  The spent more money on these anti gambling efforts last year than any prior year and it’s probably due to the fact that many more states have legalized online gambling.  They just haven’t legalized how the winners get their money.

That could very well change.

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