Internet Gambling Prohibition Act will set the Wrong Precedence
Recently, the U.S. House Judiciary committee approved the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act sponsored by Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican by a vote of 25-11. During the committee meeting, Goodlatte said
“I oppose gambling because I think it causes many, many problems in our society”
On May 29, 2006, a new land based casino – the Wild Rose Casino and Resort opened in Emmetsburg, Iowa State. According to news report, officials are hoping that the new casino will bring an economic boom for north central Iowa.
In Iowa, the state’s Department of Criminal Investigation’s (DCI) Gaming Bureau is now larger than the agency’s general criminal investigation unit—and is growing. The DCI has 83 agents at 14 casinos, including 32 agents hired since December. About 20 more will be added this year.
Assistant DCI Director Joe Diaz said everybody hired goes to the Gaming Bureau, which is now the agency’s entry-level position. Two new casinos are now open—one in Worth County, in addition to the Wild Rose in Emmetsburg. Two others, in Riverside and Waterloo, will open within the year.
This is not peculiar to Iowa State, it is happening everywhere. Is gambling in a land based casino good and gambling in an Internet casino bad?
The case has already been made that the Internet makes gambling accessible to children who could use their parent’s credit cards for gambling purposes. If that is the case, then all online commerce should be banned. While there have been cases of fraud on the Internet, fraud has not stopped online commerce from flourishing. When has it become the policy in the U.S. to hide because there could be criminals around?
The World Trade Organization has already ruled that the U.S. policy on online gambling violates the terms of the WTO agreement. The Internet Gambling prohibition Act is ignoring that ruling.
The U.S. is sending the wrong message to the world. The US cannot be telling the world to tear down their walls and allow the market to spur creativity and yet decide to erect one of her own when it suits her. Precedence is a double edge sword.
U.S. is turning the world into a replay of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. From the ongoing replay of “Big Brother” by the Bush Administration, and now “Animal Farm”. The U.S. is turning Orwell into Nostradamus. I hope we are not going to wake up one day to the tune “Internet gambling is illegal; Casino gambling is good for the economy.”