Online Gambling Petition – Messages From American Voters – Politicians, Listen Up!

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The following messages are to United States politicians from United States citizens who vote in state and federal elections. They are Republicans, Democrats, and Liberals. They are Christians and Jews, Buddhists and Muslims, some are even Atheists. They are United States citizens who love to play online poker, who love to spend nights gambling at online slot machines, or who like to make bets on sporting events. Above all they are people who believe in freedom. They are the people who United States politicians are supposed to represent.

The quotes below were taken directly from the Petition to Repeal the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which will be hand delivered to all United States representatives and senators in late July.

Messages from Americans living in all 50 states to US politicians:

“Our troops are sent to fight for our freedom while our elected reps are taking it from us. Please tell us again why they are dying overseas when we need to be fighting for freedom in our own country.” – Scott L., Voter from South Carolina

“As an American citizen I’ve always valued being free and living in a free society. When this was passed it really made me question weather or not I really do live in a free country. Also the way this was passed. It seemed so underhanded. They tacked it on to a bill that had nothing to do with internet gambling and a bill that was sure to pass.” – Alan B., Voter from Kansas

“It strikes me as the height of supreme arrogance for someone to tell me what I can or cannot do with my own money on my own time in the privacy of my own home…” – Joe G., Voter from Arkansas

“I was a lifelong Republican before the passage of the UIGEA and a contributor to the party and its candidates. Now I’m not sure what I am except against anyone who doesn’t support repeal.” – Robert L., Voter from Texas

“I’m disabled and play poker on-line it helps me to keep my mind off the pain and is easily available for me, please keep poker on-line.” – Mary C., Voter from Oregon

“Poker is a game of skill. Yet games like bingo and the lottery are legal. These take lots of skill to play. Tax poker just like you tax other games.” – Mary S., Voter from California

“Please leave us to make our own decisions. We pay out taxes, and respect the laws. The law should also respect us.” M.C. R., Voter from Florida

“I believe this is a bad law & it was snuck through congress piggy backed on a security bill. This law should be repealed as soon as possible. The online gaming industry should be regulated & monitored to protect the customer, not outlawed.” Michael M., Voter from Nevada

“As you may know, Montana allows poker gaming; however until 2007 the poker rooms allowed smoking and to play, you had to deal with second hand smoke. As a result, I chose to play online. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act puts my health at risk. The primary justification is for taxation not for moral reasons. It should be repealed immediately. If Poker winnings from online gaming need to be taxed, we have the technology to do it. Please repeal the act immediately.” Joseph M., Voter from Montana

“I am 44 years old. I am not a child. It is safer and more convenient for me to play poker at home than travel 100 miles to play. Why is it that the government feels that I am not able to decide if I want to spend my money playing poker or not? There are terrorists, murderers, molesters and others praying on innocent people. Poker players are not criminals.” – Jeffrey V., Voter from Pennsylvania

“…focus you efforts in safeguarding the sites we play at and the funds we use to play.” Nick M., Voter from North Carolina

“I can’t believe the stupidity within our government. In a country that puts freedom above everything, all our elected officials can do is come up with ways to curtail that freedom! Repeal this ridiculous law!” – David M., Voter from Massachusetts

“We should be able to make the decision on how we spend our money. If I enjoy wasting money on poker, I should have the freedom to do that.” Steve A., Voter from Georgia

“It is critical that the US government get the hell out trying to govern our personal lives. This holy-roller perspective that got the UIGEA passed is pure “Big Brother” and is not needed. The US governmentneeds to get the hell out of my personal life and stick to what our founding fathers intended.” – Vince F., Voter from Texas

“Here’s a thought, All u politicians just kick back and enjoy your free health care and leave us the hell alone.” – Anonymous Voter from Maine

“Let we, the people, decide which course of entertainment we wish to pursue. Isn’t ” … liberty, and the pursuit of happiness …” in our constitution ??” – Robert W., Voter from Texas

For politicians interested in the American people’s interest, please visit the Petition Site to read thousands of personal message from American voters like the ones posted above.

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Online Gambling Hearings Yield Another IGREA Co-Sponsor

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Congressman Earl Blumenauer [OR-3] yesterday signed on to co-sponsor H.R.2046, the Internet Gambling, Regulation, and Enforcement Act (IGREA), which was originally sponsored by House Financial Services Chairman, Barney Frank [MA-4], to become the 41st co-sponsor.

Congressman Blumenauer has a long and distinguished career in politics going back to 1972 where he served his first term in the Oregon House of Representatives. He has been in the U.S. House of Representatives since being elected in 1996.

Cong. Bluemauer currently serves on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, the Budget Committee, and the new Select Committee on Energy Independence and Climate change. He has a strong voice worldwide on issues such as the environment, sustainable development, and economic opportunity.

The congressman has undergraduate and law degrees from Lewis and Clark College in Portland. Please extend your thanks to Congressman Blumenauer at his office in Washington or his local office in Portland, and encourage him to persuade his colleagues to do the same.

Walker County Officials File Suit Over Bingo Gambling Law

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Live Bingo is becoming a game of the past, many people have moved on to play on the internet, and many charities have gone to bingo gaming machines to raise money.

These gaming machines, however, have come under fire by officials in Walker County, Indiana. The officials claim that the games are an illegal form of gambling, and they want the local circuit court to clarify the law for them.

The law suit that these officials have filed asks the court to clarify if electronic bingo halls are operating legally. The suit also asks whether these machines are classified as illegal slot machines, and whether they are authorized under the county’s bingo amendment.

Sheriff John Mark Tirey has said that he stopped issuing permits for charities to use these bingo machines for a period of time, but has since began issuing the permits once again after showing concern about the fairness of not issuing the licenses until a decision is made.

Walker County District Attorney Charles Baker claims that the county has no financial record of any of the charities that have received permits and that is a cause of concern for him.

“This is probably the most unregulated gambling operation in the United States. There is no requirement that anybody submit anything to any governmental agency that I’m aware of”.

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Online Gambling Bill HR 5767 Gains More Co-Sponsors

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While it is unlikely that any action will be taken this year to enforce the UIGEA through regulation, congressional representatives continue to endorse HR 5767, a bill that orders the Federal Reserve and the Dept. of the Treasury to cease trying to implement any rules that would govern the online gambling ban law.

Reps. Steven R. Rothman [NJ-9] and Steve Cohen [TN-9] have joined the effort to put a halt to a law, which no one in government can clearly define. Their co-sponsorship, along with 16 others, brings the total of committed congressional representatives to 18 that have joined with Rep. Barney Frank to stop the madness that the conservative right has forced upon its people.

This week, Dr. Errol Cort, Minister of Finance for the country of Antigua is in Washington to engage in talks with Susan Schwab, the United States Trade Representative and other members of the Federal government, over a disputed WTO settlement regarding Internet gambling in which Antigua was the victor.

The WTO imposed a six-month period in which the US and Antigua would sit down to negotiate an equitable settlement, that deadline is June 6. During the past six months, the US has not made any effort to talk with members of the Antiguan government regarding this issue. If there is no amicable agreement by that date, the case will go back to the WTO for a final determination and possible additional penalties imposed on the United States.

A hearing held by the House Financial Services Committee this year produced a wealth of information and new insight into the UIGEA. In testimony by members of the Fed and the Treasury, it was made clear that there is no simple way for the government to enforce this law, and the recommendations from those departments put the onus of enforcement on the private financial industry to police transactions.

Elected officials in Congress are grappling with a multitude of problems that affect our economy, security, housing and the looming recession, and see the UIGEA as not only a poorly defined, arbitrary law, but also one of violating individual rights of Americans to choose their recreational activity in the privacy of their homes.

As more congressional representatives familiarize themselves with this unfair, unenforceable law, they are joining the ranks of those who are fighting for the freedoms that America promises it citizens. It is now time for action. Concerned citizens should contact their representatives in Washington to express how strongly they feel about freedom and urge them to sign on to co-sponsor H.R. 5767.

In related news, Rep. Steve Rothman [NJ-9] has signed to co-sponsor a bill introduced by Florida Congressman Robert Wexler [FL-19] to exempt games of skill from the UIGEA , that bill H.R. 2610 has 22 co-sponsors.

Rep. Shelley Berkley [NV-1] has introduced bill H.R. 2140, which is to provide a study by the National Academy of Sciences to identify the proper response of the US to the growth of Internet gambling, that bill has seen recent co-sponsorship rise to 72, with the addition of Reps. Eliot Engel [NY-17], Ed Perlmutter [CO-7], Andre Carson [IN-7], and Tammy Baldwin [WI-2] joining the others in April.

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Online Casino Gambling Still Being Fueled By US Market

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The US government can say whatever they want in regards to how well the UIGEA is working, but revenue figures for the online casino industry indicate otherwise. It is the US that is still driving the multi-billion industry.

PricewaterhouseCoopers did a study back in late 2007 that showed how much money was expected to be generated by the online casino industry over the next ten years. the results of that study were staggering.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was put in place back in late 2006. That left a full year of a supposed government ban before the PricewaterhouseCoopers study came out. Even with the UIGEA, the study revealed that US customers were driving the online gambling industry.

The study predicted that the US could stand to profit up to $17.6 billion in the next ten years if regulations were created for online casinos. Barney Frank and a couple of other representatives took note.

Frank is trying to have the UIGEA overturned, and it is that $17 billion he will point to as a good reason to do so. The economy in the US is at one of its worst in history, and over $17 billion could certainly help.

One of the intriguing areas of the study had to deal with sports gambling. The study indicated that if sports leagues were to join the regulation process and embrace gambling on their sports, the revenue figure over the next ten years would jump to $42.8 billion.

Judging by those figures, PricewaterhouseCoopers is estimating that people in the US are losing over $2.5 billion a year betting on sports. Right now, that money is going either overseas, or to illegal bookmakers.

The new administration takes office tomorrow, and it may be time for them to take a long hard look at the 2007 PricewaterhouseCoopers study before they make any decisions on the future of Internet gambling in the US.

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Officer Arrested At Gambling Bust in Salt Lake, Utah

Gambling arrests and busts are becoming commonplace around the United States these days. The latest bust continues a tend that has been taking place. Officers being involved in the illegal activity.

Lee Edward Morris has been an officer with the Metro Gang Unit in Salt Lake County. That fact did not stop fellow officers from raiding a card game that Morris was involved with.

Police raided 1063 E. 3300 South, and what they found was all sorts of gambling paraphernalia. They seized chips, tables, surveillance cameras, and chip holders from the location. They also arrested five people, one of which was Morris for running the game, and five more people, who were players.

The players were issued tickets and released. Morris was booked on charges of suspicion of ongoing criminal activity. The other four were also booked on charges similar to Morris’.

The investigation continued even after officers became aware that Morris was involved in the gambling operation. They waited to make the arrests, but those arrests finally came on Thursday night.

The game allegedly was a high stakes card game. Police estimate that on some nights, over $100,000 per night was brought in by the operation. The game was not advertised, and mostly word of mouth was how information of the game was passed out.

 

Indictments Come Down From Operation High Roller In Atlantic City

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Back in November, several different police agencies arrested twenty people in connection with what authorities called, “Operation High Roller”. Today, the indictments came down in the case.

Jack Buscemi Jr. was charged with conspiracy and money laundering, racketeering, and a third degree charge of promoting gambling. Twenty three other people were also indicted in the case.

The case stems from what authorities believe was a big time sports gambling ring that was being run out of an Atlantic City casino. The Borgata Hotel Casino was the spot, and the operation took place out of a poker room at the casino.

Buscemi is targeted as the boss of the illegal gambling ring. The operation is thought to have brought in over $60 million in bets on various sports events. That was in just a twenty month period.

Gamblers would use the Internet, and would have passwords. Calls were also taken in a wire room in Philadelphia. The ring had several employees of the Borgata that were arrested in the bust. The employees served as agents for the operation.

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New York Gambling Man Gets Two Years Probation For Casino Scam

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Chen Zhi Qian thought that he had a pretty good operation going. He would buy players club points from gamblers at the Mohegan Sun casino. Then he would use those points to but gold coins, which he would sell for a profit.

It was what he thought was a full proof plan. Turns out the law did not agree with him. Qian was arrested and charged with failing to keep tax records. He plead guilty to the charge back in November.

Monday, U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson sentenced Qian to serve two years of probation for the crime. He was also ordered by the judge to undergo treatment for his gambling problem.

Another aspect of the punishment will be that Qian will not be able to participate in any form of gambling. He also will not be allowed to frequent any gaming establishments.

Qian is from New York City and the fast paced lifestyle apparently got to the forty four year old. He abused the players club points system that is designed to reward gamblers with their frequent gambling. They receive points base on how much money they spend in gaming machines. Those points are then redeemed for freebies such as food and entertainment.

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New Mexico Moving ATM Machines Closer To Gambling Floor In Casinos

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In recent months several states have addressed ATM access at casinos. The state wanted to move ATM machines outside and away from casinos, so that players did not have easy access to cash.

In New Mexico, they have a different idea. Lawmakers want to make it as easy as possible for gamblers to stay in the casino. That may involve passing a Bill that would allow ATM machines in the same rooms where gambling is taking place.

“It is a matter of convenience, and convenience for handicapped patrons,’ said the Bill’s sponsor, Richard Martinez. While he cites convenience as one of his reasons for the Bill, it is clear the law would be to help casinos at tracks compete with Indian tribe casinos in the state.

Tribal casinos have ATM machines right in the lobby of their casinos. This allows players to simply walk a couple of steps and receive more money. The Bill has a lot of support and appears headed towards being passed.

That is worrying opponents who believe that the ATM machines would lead to more problem gamblers. This is an issue that has been debated in several states and studies have been done on the effects an ATM on a casino floor has on gamblers.

“To say that this is convenience is ridiculous. The truth is, if people don’t have to leave, then they spend more money and the state makes more money. It is about generating more revenue, not convenience,” said observer Mickey Brullete.

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