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We at Casino Gambling Web (CGW) believe that the record should be corrected regarding our position on the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and the accusations levied by Chad Hills and Focus on the Family, followed up by the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NCAA.
Several months ago CGW started to receive email from Americans regarding the unjust passage of the UIGEA and how it was affecting their lives. We reported on what we saw as an unscrupulous, underhanded attempt by Republican Senator, Bill Frist to appease his religious base by sneaking in this bill at a late hour of the last day of Congress in 2006, without the ability of debate, and attached to a must past homeland port security bill.
Our interest in this subject was peaked by the sheer volume of email we received from American Citizens who felt their freedoms were eroding and were seeking a remedy.
As a response, we initiated a petition online and directed those affected to go sign it and leave their personal comments, which we would then forward to Congress.
After announcing that we were going to Washington D.C. in July, we were attacked by a right wing religious group going by the name of Focus on the Family Action. They attacked us through their site Citizenlink.com and through a press release that is full of inaccuracies and lies.
In this letter we have been accused many things. One thing we were accused of was having the backing of billion dollar foreign casino operations. Let the record show, however, that we are a publishing company, and have no stock or ownership in any casino operation, be it foreign or domestic.
Secondly, ‘the loudest and most desperate voices’ accusations in the letter are not fully vetted properly. The countries mentioned in their article as the most desperate voices have legitimate, legal rights to pursue remedies through the World Trade Organization, due to the United States reneging on its earlier commitments to allow such trade by banning it via the UIGEA.
The tiny island nation of Antigua, who Focus on the Family disregards as irrelevant, has won its case in the WTO, along with the appeals brought by the U.S., because the U.S. does allow Internet wagering on Horse-racing, as well as interstate gambling on lotteries, with exceptions for fantasy leagues, and Tribal Indian Lands specified in the UIGEA.
Thirdly, the FoFA letter states that foreign ‘voices’ are going to Washington D.C. to ‘enlighten’ U.S. Congressmen, however, they are not foreign voices at all. Each of the Casino Gambling Web representatives headed to D.C., like most of the employees here, are American born citizens. They are dedicated to America and feel it is their freedom that is being breached.
The documents to be delivered to U.S. Congressmen by CGW representatives are not ï¿½misrepresentation of factsï¿½, as stated in the NFL, MLB, NFL and NBA’s letter to Congress, but rather, facts, and opinions from experts based on experience, that are both for and against the legalization and regulation of Internet gambling.
The documents to be presented to the congressmen meant to enlighten them on the issues surrounding online gambling are the testimony from professionals involved in the software security fields, as well as testimony from foreign governments that regulate and license such activity. In our packet we will be delivering in September we are even including the Focus on the Family letter that they sent to Congress in response to our lobbying (which was postponed without their knowledge).
As a player advocate and a news publication, we actually agree with Focus on the Family and the major sports leagues in many of their concerns with Internet gambling. They want to protect problem gamblers, they want to protect underage gamblers, they want to protect against money laundering and other issues, and we want the same results, however we believe regulation is a better method than a complete banning.
Being that our expertise lies in the gambling field, we believe that with our knowledge of the industry our opinion should be of greater value on the subject than Focus on the Family. We believe that if any lobbying group is misrepresenting opinion as fact, it is Focus on the Family and the major sports leagues who have joined them doing so, not Casino Gambling Web.
We believe in freedom at Casino Gambling Web and do not believe the 25 million Americans who gamble online every year should be disallowed to gamble online to protect the 0.04% of them who develop problems. (This statistic comes from a very recent Harvard University study of over 40,000 online gamblers.)
Mainly, we believe that when congress is educated on all the facts, and then makes decisions based on those facts, the UIGEA will be repealed and some sort of regulation will be instituted and it will include safeguards to protect against all the concerns Focus on the Family and the major sports leagues connected to them have.
As for the allegations that this law was passed for ‘Homeland Security’, that is a 100% stereotype. To date there has been no link to any terrorist activity or money laundering by offshore or foreign casinos, ever.
There is much speculation that American based land casinos are ready to incorporate Internet casinos into their portfolios as soon as the U.S. will allow them to do so. This is not something that has just come up. U.S. based casinos, as well as Yahoo, AOL, and Playboy, were, or are currently, actively involved with Internet gambling, just not here in the U.S.
The foreign based casinos that did operate and service U.S. customers pre-UIGEA were regulated by the industry and had a successful record of keeping out problem gamblers and minors. With the passing of the UIGEA that has changed. Respected leaders in the industry left the U.S. market, leaving behind many disreputable sites and the industry was thus opened to those it had hoped to protect.
Major sports leagues have come out against a repeal, and against Congressman Barney Frank’s proposal to regulate, license and tax Internet gambling. Their reasons are that it may ruin the integrity of the game. This is nothing but pure pandering by the right wing elitists that continue to not see the forest for the trees.
Gambling has made Football the sport of choice for many millions of Americans. There is proof in America that if there was no betting on sports, sports would generate less fans and viewers than the newly cancelled attempt at comedy by Fox. The NFL allows fantasy sports to be played on their site(without charge). If they can not see that the many millions of Americans that partake in betting on these fantasy sports leagues, they are wearing some very stunning blinders.
We have written to Chad Hills at FOFA many times to debate his version of the facts to our proven facts. We have not heard from him, only from a couple of workers sending out stock replies and ending those with ‘We will have to agree to disagree on this issue’.
FOFA has recently enlisted the major sports concerns in their congressional letter writing drive to keep the UIGEA and strengthen it. The FOFA is a strong lobbying group of right-wing religious conservatives that publishes and preaches lies to support is stance on issues. If anyone should be outraged, it should be us, and their followers, when they realize they have been taken for a ride.
Nationwide there is expansion of gambling in almost every state. For those that oppose gambling on moral grounds, that is fine and you should continue believing this way, however, it is not your place to insist that the many millions of Americans that have no moral compunction against gambling be made to be criminals on such a personal issue.
It is our recommendation that those being led by these so-called righteous groups get the facts for themselves by doing a little research and then decide on your own how you feel. And our message to the mainstream media outlets who simply publish what they hear from the NFL and religious groups, try getting your information for the experts, not the spectators.