tagged internet_gambling online_gambling regulation by eian ...on 24-JUL-09
H.R. 2267: Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, 2009. http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h2267ih.txt.pdf
In May 2009, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) resurrected a bill similar to one he was unable to pass in the previous congress. HR 2267, or the Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, “would establish a federal regulatory and enforcement framework under which Internet gambling operators could obtain licenses authorizing them to accept bets and wagers from individuals in the United States.” Currently slated for the September session, many poker players are betting that this bill will finally legalize their Internet gambling. One of the other two bills that join HR2267 is HR2266 (Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act) with the purpose of framing the regulation and taxation of this new enterprise; namely, “a 2 percent fee (i.e. federal tax) on all deposits.” The third counterpart, the Reasonable Prudence in Regulation Act, is the last ditch effort to stall the UIGEA, which calls for a one-year delay in date for compliance.
In Frank’s own words, “The government should not interfere with people's liberty unless there is a good reason. This is, I believe, the single biggest example of an intrusion into the principle that people should be free to do things on the Internet. It's clearly the case that gambling is an activity that can be done offline but not online.” Most advocates point to the revenue stream this bill would create, while opponents argue “legalized online gambling is a ‘clear danger to our youth’ and encourages gambling addiction at a young age.” However, Frank’s response to this claim is “The notion that a society should prohibit something entirely because of the possibility that children will abuse it is a terrible blow to liberty.” The authors have stressed that the bill includes safeguards to prevent underage or compulsive gambling and protect consumers who gamble online.
Until the bill comes to session, lobbying efforts have been promised by the Poker Players Alliance that include a $3 million campaign. HR2267 moves contrary to the traditional prohibitive stance the government has taken to online gambling. In an economic downturn, it’s no surprise that novel revenue streams become more appealing, which makes passing the Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act a no-brainer. According to Harrah's Entertainment's senior vice president of communications and government relations Jan Jones, "We really believe this industry already exists. It just exists in a wild west setting. If you say you care about protecting children and fraud and money laundering, then the only way you can put those protections in place is to put in a strong regulatory frame."
American Gaming Association, Fact Sheet on Internet Gambling, accessed 7/20/2009: http://www.americangaming.org/Industry/factsheets/issues_detail.cfv?id=17
The American Gaming Association (AGA) presents a succinct review of the current disagreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. courts that have decided online gambling cases. They address most of the historic and current legal issues surrounding U.S. law in regards to online gambling. “Due to the divergent views of its members, the AGA is neutral on the issue of Internet gambling.” The following cases were described: Wire Act of 1961, Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, The WTO ruling of the U.S. violation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, as well as the 2009 Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, Reasonable Prudence in Regulation Act, and the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act.
This factsheet is a good primer on the relevant background and current legal issues facing online gambling. It was a good place to start in order to be more informed when locating more substantive sources.
Reporters Without Borders. Reporters sans frontières - Internet - Iran. 2004. 8 Apr. 2009.
This report by Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontieres, or RSF) is part of a series of studies that examines obstacles to the flow of information over the internet. RSF's main concern with blogs is that they provide a more-objective source of news than the traditional Iranian media and that they allow for the organization of anti-government protests and demonstration. The RSF report also details the history of Internet regulation in the country, naming the bureaus responsible for controlling access and content on the internet. RSF reports cases of both reformists and conservative hard-liners using government in order to control the Internet. It then details the stories of three cyber-dissidents who have suffered harrassment at the hands of Iranian government officials.
The RSF report provides great background on internet regulation. While efforts at regulation were intensified after the report was published, RSF's concerns remain valid and many of the government policies remain the same. The report also situates the Iranian case in a larger context of internet censorship, which helps by providing opportunities for comparison and contrast. Furthermore, the report demonstrates that both factions of the Iranian government are taking steps to control the spread of information free from government control, perhaps presenting an argument to the idea that this new technology will inherently lead to democratization.