June 3, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — Respected U.S. news publication U.S. News & World Report has weighed in on the movement to overturn the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006, printing in their most recent issue a pair of editorials written by the most prominent legislators on either side of the issue, Massacusetts Democrat Barney Frank and Alabama Republican Spencer Bachus.
Both men serve on the U.S. House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee, where Barney Frank’s new anti-UIGEA bill is starting its trek through Congress.
Frank’s argument focuses on civil freedoms, arguing that Americans should be allowed to enjoy an activity that does no harm to anybody else. Bachus, on the other hand, relies on more questionable conclusions to support his anti-gambling stance. He starts off by blaming the movement to legalize online gambling on “offshore casino interests”, seemingly oblivious of the major role played by major American companies like Harrah’s in supporting Frank’s legislation.
Bachus goes on to cite the example of a resident of Ohio who accrued massive debts gambling online as a reason to keep online gambling illegal, using the logic that restricting personal freedoms will eliminate poor decision-making and curb damaging behavior.
But perhaps the most interesting part of the story is the comments it has generated among the magazine’s readers. The strong consensus of these is that, whether or not gambling has any kind of damaging effects, people should be allowed to make their own decisions — and that prohibition is an ineffective deterrent, no matter what the subject.