Should the United States government ban online poker? One billionaire casino owner thinks so. In the quest to convince Americans that they shouldn't be able to do what they want with their own money in their own homes, proponents of the ban have spent big bucks and spread big lies. Below are some of the biggest whoppers.
MYTH: Online Gambling Won't Bring Money to the States
FACT: Americans Currently Spend Billions Gambling Online
Between 2003 and 2010 Americans spent $30 billion (yes, with a "B") gambling on websites based overseas. Since it was legalized in New Jersey, online gambling sites have been generating about $10 million a month a number that is certain to grow.
MYTH: Legal Online Gambling Will Support Terrorism!
FACT: It's Easier to Spot and Stop Crime Online
If you were a terrorist looking to make and/or launder money would you choose a poker website licensed by a U.S. state which uses multi-tiered technology to figure who and where you are and keeps a record of all your activity or would you use a website operated out of a different country that may or may not have any oversight? Or better yet, would you just get a fake I.D. and fly Macau or Las Vegas?
MYTH: Legal Online Gambling Will Destroy American Jobs
FACT: Licensed Internet Gambling Would Create & Save Jobs
Online casinos aren't operated by Skynet. Gambling websites must actually employ "ugly bags of mostly water" in order to work. Throughout the world, the legal online gambling employs thousands of people. Not only would online gambling sites bring new jobs to the U.S., it might even save existing jobs by helping brick-and-mortar casinos (which have been dropping like flies lately) stay open for business. Most casinos already recognize the potential for partnering with an online gambling site… all but one, really.
MYTH: You Can't Stop Kids from Gambling Online
FACT: It's Virtually Impossible For Minors To Access Licensed Sites
The only way to protect children from online gambling is to ban it for everyone. Great logic, huh? Then we may as well ban brick-and-mortar casino gambling since they regularly pay fines for letting kids onto the betting floor (where they can sometimes drink, as well). The fact is that licensed gambling sites are extremely difficult to “sneak” onto. This is because gambling websites are required to put players through the technological wringer before they can place a single bet (certainly more than just an I.D. check).
While it's possible that a child might be able to his or her parent's credit card, know their social security number, be able to answer all of the questions about their parents' credit history and not get caught when the credit card statement comes in at the end of the month, but at that point who should we really blame? And if that was the standard for banning an activity what exactly wouldn’t be banned? Certainly, a kid to do as much damage shopping online as gambling (it would certainly be easier).
MYTH: Net Gambling Will Increase Gambling Addiction
FACT: Internet Gambling Is No More Addicting Than Real-World Gambling
Funny GIFs aside, gambling addiction is a serious issue. But according to a series of studies conducted by experts at Harvard University and elsewhere, online gambling isn't any more addictive than brick-and-mortar gambling. Plus, gambling in a digital world gives sites the ability to use software to spot patterns of problem behavior. (On the downside, there's no free booze on the Internet.) Once they spot the pattern they can suggest players get help.
The worst thing we could do for gambling addicts is push them back into the shadows of the black market.
MYTH: Sands Casino Owner Sheldon Adelson Wants to Ban Online Gambling
FACT: He Only Wants to Ban the Online Gambling He Doesn’t Profit From
And the final big lie we’re all hearing (and in some cases, spreading) is that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson (who wrote the bill that would prevent states from legalizing online gambling) wants to ban all Internet gambling. It’s not true. The fact is, he only wants to ban certain kinds of online gambling—the kind that he doesn’t make a profit from. The bill was written to contain exemptions for several forms of online gambling including fantasy sports betting, online horse betting, and the closed-circuit mobile gambling that can be done on Adelson’s casino properties.