Casino Watch Focus reported that a new online poker bill was filed by Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. Jon Kyl. The bill, known as the “Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2012,” attempts to legalize online poker. However, as explained by Professor John W. Kindt in an online article, the bill allows for a variety of nefarious activities:
University of Illinois emeritus professor John W. Kindt says the Reid-Kyl Internet gambling bill would facilitate money laundering by terrorists and organized crime through new encryption technologies, which would allow for the potential abuse of banks’ abilities to process payments to offshore gambling websites.
“What the bill allows makes it easier for mobsters and even terrorists to launder money,” said Kindt, a retired professor of business and legal policy at the U. of I.
“The bill’s supporters argue that the Reid-Kyl legislation is worded in a way that allows for poker while prohibiting most other forms of Internet gambling,” he said. “But regulatory technologies can now be circumvented by cheaters and, even worse, by international criminal enterprises. Furthermore, gambling is gambling, whether it’s poker or some other game. And Internet gambling is the crack cocaine of gambling. It would place gambling at every school desk and workstation, in every living room, and on every cellphone.”
Given the current state of the fiscal cliff negotiations, the bill is not expected to pass this year. As an online source explained, even Sen. Harry Reid has conceded the bill’s passage this year as there is no consensus. However, this process does lend itself to being used as leverage in the fiscal cliff negotiations or during next year. Professor Kindt explains:
Although the bill doesn’t appear to have much momentum behind it now, Kindt cautions that both senators are very influential in their respective parties. “That signals to me that it could be part of a fiscal cliff deal,” he said. “But the lame duck legislative period also would be an opportune time for pro-gambling lobbyists to band together and pass it.” But passing such a bill through political horse-trading would be a huge mistake, Kindt says.
“Internet gambling in particular shrinks the consumer economy and destroys consumer confidence by promoting a ubiquitous gambling philosophy,” he said. “Legalizing online gambling would allow dubious parties to create a queue of speculative bubbles in international stock markets that could collapse the already fragile financial systems and destabilize essential international economic security.” Kindt likens gambling to “an economic cancer” that would only metastasize with more Internet gambling.
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