Religious Right Loves Gambling Ban

Agape Press reports on the "ecstatic" reaction of religious right groups:

.Concerned Women for America (CWA) is applauding the passage of the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act, a bill sponsored by Republican Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona. The legislation prohibits the use of credit cards, checks, and wire and electronic fund transfers in online gambling, which is illegal. Kyl's bill is the Senate's version of H.R. 4411, the House bill sponsored by Republican Congressmen Jim Leach of Iowa and Bob Goodlatte of Virginia. These bills seeks to extend the nation's gambling regulations to the Internet. Lanier Swann, CWA's director of government relations, says her group is "ecstatic" about the passage of the legislation. "Most Americans don't realize that Internet gambling is a crime," she says. "This is a monumental victory for families who have loved ones who are getting hooked to their 'home casinos.'" Lanier points out that the correlation between gambling and poverty has been repeatedly demonstrated. "Gambling is a growing addiction that has now infiltrated our homes through the all-encompassing Internet," she says. "What we don't want is a safe-guarding of easy, click-of-a-mouse access to gambling." The newly passed legislation gives the Department of Justice and state attorney generals authority to enforce the laws on the books, the pro-family spokeswoman explains, and to "strangle Internet gambling by cutting off the flow of money." Lanier says CWA commends Kyl for sponsoring the legislation and Senator Bill Frist for providing "exemplary leadership" on the issue. Now the group is calling on President Bush to expedite signing the Internet gambling prohibition bill into law so as to protect individuals and families from addiction and other harmful effects of Internet gambling.

Yes, and we should also ban alcohol because that would be a "monumental victory for families who have loved ones who are getting hooked to their 'home bars.'" Never mind that the vast majority of people who gamble, like the vast majority of people who drink, do so responsibly and moderately. If anyone becomes addicted to something, we must ban it for everyone. If one person in a hundred has a gambling problem, screw the other 99 people. In fact, throw them in jail for daring to do what causes problems for someone else to do. Let's all be limited by the weakness of the few.

Hell, while we're at it let's ban food. I mean, some people just can't stop eating. They keep eating until they weigh 500 or 600 pounds because they're addicted. At the very least, we must ban drive thru lanes and pizza delivery because that allows the addiction of food to "infiltrate the home". We must make them travel to feed their addictions. All of this hides the most serious addiction in America, an addiction to controlling others through the power of government.

The James Dobsons and Beverly LaHayes of the world are addicts, completely unable to stop their zeal to control others. And every time they get a fix it only makes them crave more. When they manage to pass some legislation that prohibits others from being able to view movies that they don't like, that's the equivalent of them taking a hit. But like all addicts, it only makes them crave the next hit. And when the courts tell them that they can no longer throw gays in jail, that's just like someone taking their drugs away (and the response is just as furious and irrational). Send them too to rehab. They can room with Mel Gibson.


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The gambling ban is getting coverage over here in the UK. Seems that many of the leading online gambling sites are run out of the UK and that the effect of this ban will be the cut down on gambling money leaving the US for the UK. The British note with interest that the Republicans who passed this ban have done nothing to stop the proliferation of state lotteries or to stop the continuing boom in casino building. This really looks like old-fashioned protectionism.

This really looks like old-fashioned protectionism.

Do you suppose that they're any way that a suit could be pressed with the WTO by the UK gaming industry? I don't know what all is covered under the WTO treaties, but if you could really make the argument that it is protectionism (since we in the US allow local gambling, but not "imported" gambling) that might be an interesting case to see brought up for arbitration.

The James Dobsons and Beverly LaHayes of the world are addicts

Very true and very good point. They are that 1 out of 100 that is addicted.

The ban is already having an effect -- Party Gaming, the owners of the Party Poker website, just withdrew their latest dividend to their shareholders, citing the need to conserve cash in light of the new US legislation. (Not to mention the fact that their stock just lost 2/3 of its value in a couple of days.)

And it's looking more likely that they might stop accepting custom from US-based players altogether once the bill is signed into law.

From the article snippet:

Lanier points out that the correlation between gambling and poverty has been repeatedly demonstrated.

I'll assume that's true, but perhaps the distinction between ONLINE gambling needs to be made.

This is from Craig Cunningham's poker blog:

The second question of who the poker player is should be intuitive but the facts are still a bit surprising nonetheless. The player cuts across all of society of course, one of the reasons I am drawn to it. 35% of people between the ages of 21-39 played poker in 2005, with only 18% of those ages 40-49 reporting the same. 25% of men play poker compared to 13% of women. Only 1 in 10 poker players play online for money, but over 75% play with family and friends. Online players look different than brick and mortar casino customers: 68% male (vs. 53% male for casino customers), 43% of online gamblers are age 21-29 and another 26% are 30-39 (9% of casino customers are 21-29 and 14% are 30-39). 70% of the players have started playing online in the last two years. 61% of online players have at least a college degree vs. 43% for casino customers. Lastly, over 41% of online players earn >$75,000 in income.

""The James Dobsons and Beverly LaHayes of the world are addicts"

Very true and very good point. They are that 1 out of 100 that is addicted."

And we call that 1% fundamentalist evangelicals. I think it is far more than 1% where religion is concerned.

As an educated American adult, I'm glad my government is banning online gambling sites. I can't begin to tell you how much of my money and self-esteem these sites have taken from me. I went to them for fun and money. How was I supposed to know I may lose money?
Now if only my government would stop the sale of Windex. I know it says on the bottle not to ingest it but come on, who can resist buying a big bottle of that cool looking blue nectar and drinking it all in one sitting?

This bill is going to do exactly what it intended to do.

The guys who are making >75K/yr, and the college grads that know how the internet operates will set up an overseas account, find a proxy and keep playing.

The housewife who loses the grocery money is not going to be able to figure this out. She and her ilk are the intended target, and it's going to make the old man happy (or vice versa, the guy who loses the rent, and making the old lady happy - I'm an equal opportunity insulter).

Sorry, boys, the patsies are gone; you're going to have play real poker now.

Re: bud
Uh, right. Just like banning drug usage meant only the really clever addicts were able to maintain their addiction.