Newsweek Speaks Out Against Online Gambling Ban
November 25, 2009 (CAP Newswire) – More mainstream media attention is being focused on the online gambling industry in the United States. On Newsweek’s online site, Jeremy Herb has written a lengthy argument against the UIGEA, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, the 2006 law that basically makes online gambling illegal in the U.S.
Citing the vagueness and the difficulty in enforcing the UIGEA, an argument made by many other online gambling advocates, Herb goes down the list of events negative to the online gambling industry that rose from the law’s implementation. Though that list, including PartyGaming’s prosecution and the difficulties imposed on the banking industry, are familiar to many in the Internet gambling industry, most average Americans aren’t aware of these problems. So, exposure in a high-profile publication such as Newsweek – one of America's most read news sources — is important for getting the word out.
Herb does present some interesting information on the conflict between the industry and the Wire Act, the older law that Internet gambling is sometimes prosecuted under. “The Justice Department believes all Internet gambling is illegal based on the 1960s Wire Act, which was designed to stop bookies from using telephones and passed long before the Internet as we know it existed,” he writes.
“The gambling industry disputes this, arguing the Wire Act only applies to sports-betting, not games like poker or roulette. In 2002, the Fifth Circuit Court ruled the Wire Act only applied to sports-betting, but that didn't sway any opinions at Justice. Several offshore executives of online casinos and "e-wallet" payment processors have been arrested in the past few years. In June, the Justice Department froze $33 million in payments to American players from four online casinos.”