Ron Paul and Barney Frank introduced bill HR 5767 in order to prohibit the US government to ban online gambling in the United States, this after the introduction of the actual ban itself called the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act). The bill recently came to vote in the US government and lost. Its aim was to stop this ban and have the US government regulate national gambling, which would in turn generate billions in revenue for the government over the course of a decade.
It is quite shocking and sad to see that the bill did not pass in congress. First of all, the bill would have been a great help to the already damaged US economy as the revenues the government regulation would bring into the government are in the billions over the course of a decade, and that is just the start. Another positive fact is that if the bill were to have passed, the government would be able to successfully, or improve its monitoring on US citizens making bets online, as the current situation clearly states that Americans are still gambling despite the fact that there is a current ban on internet gambling operations, and that the UIGEA law has failed. It is much better for the government to regulate and stop impeding Americans to gamble online than to ban the whole process altogether and fail in the ban itself while not taking in revenues from online gambling operations.
The bill was turned down in part due to the Las Vegas entrepreneurs and operators lobbying the government in order to succeed in the ban due to the reasoning that since Americans will not be able to gamble online, where else than Vegas to make bets, wagers, and have a good time in general, therefore promoting tourism and economic activity in the city.
The future is quite grim after HR 5767 failed to pass as now the ban remains, and Americans will not be able to gamble online, at least for a long time until another bill like this one comes to the senate floor for discussion. It would have been better for the government to lift the ban, and promote the Las Vegas entrepreneurs to compete with each other over the internet than to ban the gambling operation and stop from gaining billions in taxes and earnings from regulation.
In places like most European countries, this type of gambling has become acceptable, and has grown in staggering popularity. Governments take in revenue from online gambling operations, and punters are happy performing bets online in fair regulated markets. USA based casino operators should learn from these already successful methods of gambling operation s and try to promote it in their own country instead of trying to impede it in order to make their clients go in a physical manner to their casinos. It is much cheaper and much more effective to have online virtual portals than to spend billions in physical infrastructure.
By Carlos Fernandez
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