(H.R. 4411) Online and Internet Gambling Under Attack in the US Congress; Guess Who Stands to Lose in Aruba?
The US House is set to vote on a bill, H.R. 4411, that would ban credit cards for paying online bets and could padlock gambling Web sites. They are looking to go after the internet, offshore, fly-by-night gambling operators that are “unlicensed, untaxed and unregulated and are sucking billions of dollars out of the United States.”
The legislation would clarify existing law to spell out that it is illegal to gamble online.
To enforce that ban, the bill would prohibit credit cards and other payment forms, such as electronic transfers, from being used to settle online wagers. It also would give law enforcement officials the authority to work with Internet providers to block access to gambling Web sites.
The hue and cry from the offshore internet gaming industry will be intense. It is most certain that they will not want to lose the millions of dollars presently being bet on the internet from the US.
“There is a booming industry of offshore Web sites accepting bets and wagers from persons located in the United States,” Leach said in a statement. “Easy access to Internet gambling Web sites and lack of law enforcement give the U.S. public a misimpression that Internet gambling is not illegal.”
Republican Jon Kyl of Arizona has led the charge in the Senate to outlaw internet gambling. The on-line gambling industry has exploded over the past decade going from some 10 or 20 web sites to more than 2000 according to Kyl. Where are many on these on-line offshore gambling sites located? Aruba, you guessed it.
Kyl explained: “When some Internet gambling sites in Aruba, for example, submits the bill to Master Charge or Bank of America and says, Joe Blow here gambled away $1,000 of his money, put it on the credit card, and you now owe that to our Internet gambling site in Aruba, the bank or credit card company says, ‘No. That was against the law. We are not paying.’ “
Guess who stands to lose quite a considerable amount of money in Aruba if these new laws are passed? They were the first land based casino to offer gambling on the Internet. What casino is Aruba is also know for allowing Joran Van der Sloot to gamble under age, presumably had a gentleman who looked like Paulas Van der Sloot playing cards right next to the Mountain Brook teens and was the catalyst for allowing the introduction of Joran to Mountain Brook? You guessed it, The Excelsior Casino run by Michael Posner.
Aruba’s oldest casino has just become the Western Hemisphere’s first land-based casino to offer gambling on the Internet. Excelsior Casino, operating as a successful brick and mortar casino for 30 years, has partnered with GamblingSoftware.com to launch www.excelsiorcasino.com, an instant-play casino for the Web.
Aruba thought that the hit to their tourism affected their economy; wait until this bill becomes law and the 20 billion dollar business of worldwide internet gambling is altered.
Las Vegas of the Internet, Americans flock to Costa Rica to set up online casinos
Lured by visions of easy riches, U.S. gaming entrepreneurs are flocking to Costa Rica to avoid the 1961 U.S. Federal Wire Act that prohibits interstate wagering via phone or telegraph wires.
“Finally I’ve found a place we can’t outgrow,” said Greg Champion, CEO of North American Sports Association (NASA), who moved his sports betting operation from the Caribbean island of Aruba to escape its high phone bills and lack of office space. “No one has the infrastructure and technology of Costa Rica.”
The internet gambling bill will be most interesting as it will “make it almost impossible – and illegal – for Americans to place bets with offshore Internet gambling sites.”
The House bill is sponsored by Rep. James Leach, R-Iowa which would prohibit credit card companies from making transactions with virtual casinos, is expected to pass the full House next week. The bill could be combined with separate legislation from Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., which explicitly bans gambling over the Internet.
Internet gambling is a growing, $12 billion to $15 billion per year industry with millions of U.S. customers. Like every other form of Internet commerce, virtual casinos and sports books draw their popularity from convenience.
Representatives Goodlatte and Leach, who each have introduced multiple bills to restrict Internet gambling over the past eight years. They have argued that internet gambling is illegal without state government approval.
Goodlatte said in a statement. “Gambling on the Internet has become an extremely lucrative business. These offshore, fly-by-night Internet gambling operators are unlicensed, untaxed and unregulated and are sucking billions of dollars out of the United States.”