91 Percent Favor Legal Online Gaming

by Lou on August 4, 2006

CNBC Poll Shows 91 Percent Favor Legalized Online Gaming
An overwhelming majority of Americans want online gambling legalized in the United States. According to a CNBC poll conducted last week, when asked, “Should all online gambling be legalized in the United States?” 91 percent said “Yes,” while only 9 percent said “No.”

A Wall Street Journal Poll Earlier This Year Showed Similar Results
That should send a strong and compelling message to the US Senate as it considers the Goodlatte-Leach bill, H.R. 4411. CNBC’s poll is the latest in a series of polls demonstrating overriding support for legally regulated online gaming in the United States. Earlier in the year, a Wall Street Journal poll showed 85 percent of the respondents opposed to an online gaming ban.

This Should be aClear Message to Congress
It should be clear to the US Senate that the vast majority of Americans do not want prohibition, especially not one as hypocritical as H.R. 4411, which allows exemptions for horseracing, fantasy sports, and state-run lotteries.

So why does Congress continue to push this kind of legislation? Are they that out of touch with their constituents? Of course not. But they are conducting business the way elected careerists always do: They pander to special interests.

Some supporters of this legislation claim it’s in response to a problem gambling epidemic. But they offer no evidence of this plague, and there’s not one provision in the bill designed to offer help, counseling, aid, or assistance to addicted gamblers.

H.R. 4411 Was Designed and Written to Satisfy Special Interests
Provisions designed to exempt special interests fill the bill. They include state lotteries, horse racing, and fantasy sports leagues — as if there were no gamblers that had “problems” with the ponies or the lottery, which typically offers the worst rate of return a gambler can find.

More than 80 countries, including the UK, now regulate or are about to regulate online gambling.

The UK Model is the Way to Go
In my opinion, legalized and regulated online gambling — the UK model — is the best way to prevent gambling by minors and to identify problem gamblers. Prohibition, by comparison, will only drive online gaming further underground, with all hopes of safety, regulation, and the identification and treatment options for troubled gamblers lost in a rigged shuffle.

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