IT COULD BE CALLED 'THANK YOU FOR GAMBLING'

02 December 2006

EGamingPulse
Friday, December 1

In the recent movie “Thank You for Smoking,” the hero–a tobacco lobbyist–comes under fire for working to protect people’s right to smoke.

A similar movie could be made about gambling. The villain would be Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).

Goodlatte has been fighting to enact legislation on Internet gambling for some time, and he can now finally claim a good deal of success with the passage of H.R. 4954, a port security bill with an anti-Internet gambling attachment. Goodlatte’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is set to make it illegal for American banks and financial institutions to process online gambling payments from the U.S.

Finding a Way
“The passage of this legislation is a step in the right direction in the fight against online gambling and will help to cut off the money supply to these illegal outfits,” Goodlatte said. It is true enough the legislation makes banks suffer the wrath Goodlatte feels towards the online gaming industry, but a key question remains: Will tightening the rope around bankers’ necks really stop online gambling?

Following passage of UIGEA, gaming companies took a beating. PartyGaming, the world’s largest online gaming company, fell out of the FTSE 100 while World Gaming suspended dealings in its shares due to “uncertainty over its ability to continue trading.”

Most of the world’s online gaming firms are not located in the U.S. due to government hostility, but now it appears that even those based in London and elsewhere are subject to America’s dominance in a global economy.

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