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Internet Gambling

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Essay title: Internet Gambling

Being awaken every morning at 7:00 am by creditors wanting their money may be one of the most depressing experiences. If the U.S. congress passes the bill allowing all forms of online gambling, many more people may experience creditor harassment. “Gambling is like a drug, just one hit and the addiction starts” (Perkinson). Over the past decade State governments have been fighting hard to raise the gambling age to twenty-one in casinos, now they want to legalize online gambling at age 18. Online gambling should not be legalized due to irresponsible people, the chance of online casinos being fraudulent, the raise in credit debt, underage kids gambling and the fact that gambling is addictive.

As long as there has been a red, white, and blue flag flying in our country, gambling has had a presence. The United States has had a long history of allowing some form of legal gambling, and a degree of tolerance of illegal gambling. The acceptance of gambling has been known to change rapidly in the past. The cause of this was due to scandals and political control by gaming interests led to backlashes. This then resulted in the regulation or prohibition of gambling. The history of gambling in our country can be split up into three waves. The first wave began during the colonial period and lasted until the mid 1800's. The second wave started at the end of the Civil War and lasted until about 1900. The third wave started during the Great Depression and is currently going strong. The length and size of the current wave is characterized as an explosion, not a wave due to the popularity of gambling. The first two waves of gambling died out due to the resurfacing of morals and scandals in gaming. Basically, people can live with adverse odds, but cannot

handle cheating. So what could possibly end the third explosion of gambling? I don’t have the exact answer to that, but if lotteries became fraudulent or a sports player would rather win a bet than the game, society could see a huge downfall in gambling. (Rose)

The worlds first virtual online casino, Internet Casinos, Inc.(ICI) commenced operation on August 18, 1995 with 18 different casino games, online access to the National Indian Lottery, and plans to launch an internet sports book. In all, according to Rolling Good Times Online gambling magazine, there are between 1500 to 2000 gambling-related sites on the net and more are up and running every day. (Mcdonald) Why are the casinos expanding their business to the internet? The answer to this question is only one word: money. It is estimated that physical casinos revenue about 2.4 billion dollars a year.(Isidore) This is why casinos are so extravagant, they want your money. So if casino’s are already making crazy money, why expand to the internet. Again, that evil word money. An estimated twenty million people are currently gambling online. ICI has received over 40,000 registrations for its service, and over seven million visits per month. It is estimated that about 90% of adults participate in some form of gambling. The overall market for online gambling is estimated to be approximately $49 Billion Dollars a year.(Mcdonald) Besides a much larger profit, the running cost of online gambling is much cheaper than running a casino. Casino owners have a list of debts each month that include salaries of the large staff’s, purchasing things like chips and cards, and alcohol. If you are playing at home, there are no free drinks being brought to you. Running an online site only requires a small staff to maintain the website, and this means greater profits.

Contrary to the understanding of many online gamblers, the majority of U.S. states have made it illegal to operate any type of gambling businesses outside of that actually sponsored by the state. Currently there is an extreme fine line of online gambling being legal. The only legal way to gamble online is to wager player against player. In other words, there can not be a house, so no company is making money off from your bet. Because of the legalities of online gambling, one can only register and play under an off-shore account. We already have online gaming. It exists in an unregulated form. Off-shore companies (companies outside the US) supply the means by which Americans can bet sports, play poker or otherwise gamble away their life savings in the name of “personal entertainment.”

In the past the federal government has left gambling laws up to state legislature. Now the federal government passed what is called the Wire Act. The Wire Act is the statute most often cited as making on-line gambling a federal offense. The operative subsection reads:

Whoever being engaged in the business of betting or wagering knowingly uses a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest,

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