Restoring Wire Act to original purpose would help protect states from Internet gambling

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  • MichelleMinton Washington, DC
    June 3, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    Americans can still spend $3-$4 billion a year gambling on foreign-operated igambling, what makes you think stopping states from legalizing online gambling will do anything to stop igambling? It won't. Let's be clear, this bill doesn't "restore" the Wire Act, it rewrites the 50+ year old bill to create, for the first time, a federal prohibition on igambling. One need only look at Bobby Kennedy's testimony in 1961 (as US AG he introduced bills including the wire act targeting organized crime) to see the Wire Act was meant to be a weapon against racketeering/organized crime: "It cannot be overemphasized that this bill is designed, first to *assist the States and Territories in the enforcement of their laws* pertaining to gambling and like offenses...the federal government is not undertaking the almost impossible task of dealing with all the many forms of casual or social wagering which so often may be effected over communication facilities; This legislation can be a most effective weapon in dealing' with one of the major factors of organized crime in this country without invading the privacy of the home or outraging the sensibilities of our people in matters of personal inclinations and morals"

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 15, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    From the Declaration of Independence:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,...

    The people who wrote the Declaration of Independence seems to believe that it is necessary for government to secure those rights. Can rights be both unalienable and require government to secure them at the same time? The words of politicians often bend the truth when it suits their needs.

    The classic example of government override of religious action is the prohibition of human sacrifice.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 15, 2014 7:59 a.m.

    Ultra Bob,
    no such thing as unalienable rights?

    Thomas Jefferson would disagree

    a person may think and believe as he pleases, but his actions may not be contrary to government law.

    George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison - those men behind the Bill of Rights - would disagree. Government law cannot interfere with religion (1st amendment)

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 14, 2014 7:29 p.m.

    Robert Stevens.

    Some sat truth for you is that you don't live in a nation ruled by God, and despite what some people may think, there are no such things as unalienable rights. Religion tries to control both the mind and body, thought and actions, of its members, our government is only concerned with the control over a persons actions. There is no competitive contest with God or religion, a person may think and believe as he pleases, but his actions may not be contrary to government law.

    In effect, every rule and regulation has the same authority and power of the Constitution and amends the Constitution until it is struck down by the court. So all the laws, rules and regulations are indeed amendments to the Constitution.

  • readme Provo, UT
    May 14, 2014 6:21 p.m.

    This is a VERY dangerous bill. Once you give the federal government the authority to shut down a category of websites, free speech, alternative news, gun and religious websites are next.

    Religious websites? Yes, centralized governments cannot compete with God or unalienable rights from God.

    Agree or disagree with their contents, gambling websites are covered under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press."

    The bill or subsequent bills would deny citizens their free agency. It empowers government to choose winners (like Vegas and Atlantic City) and losers (Internet competitors).

    Policing this would also be a nightmare. It would involve software, hardware, routers, switches, payment gateways, payment systems, etc. The cost of enforcement would soar to billions.

    --Robert Stevens, Provo, Utah

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 14, 2014 3:23 p.m.

    Marxist, your last statement cracks me up. Day trading is as much gambling as driving on Utah freeways. With gambling you get your money back or make a profit about 5% of the time. When I day trade, I make my money back 100% of the time with money to spare.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    May 14, 2014 2:15 p.m.

    Internet gambling is Interstate gambling. The Constitution clearly authorizes Congress to regulate Interstate Commerce.

    If you want something for nothing, you'll gamble. Fortunately, most of the time, you'll lose. If you want to learn from the school of hard knocks, be my guest. Throw away your hard-earned money to get "something for nothing".

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 14, 2014 1:07 p.m.

    You know I guess I don't understand the concept of limited government intervention and freedom to choose. The same people who complain about the new laws related to healthier school lunches, and the laws related to limited soda pop consumption, are ok with limited gambling. Their logic for limiting gambling is financial health which I guess should be legislated, but personal health shouldn't. Sounds a bit hypocritical to me.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 14, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    here is what I could find, and lottery offices are not too open about it.

    in 2013 the Kansas state lottery paid 56.6% of its proceeds in prizes. If I remember correctly from my time spent in Seattle, the WA state lotter is about the same.

    All state agencies have overhead, but they do not need to pay vendors (that gas station in Malad) to sell the tickets, so there is another layer of overhead.

    The vendor who sells the winning ticket gets even more in some cases. IN CA it's a flat 5% win or lose.

    So, yep, over 60% to the winners and the vendors. Other research has shown that states with lotteries allocate less from their general funds to education, so education funding does not increase with lotteries - it's all a lie to tax the gullible.

    Want to help education? gift money to your local district. Get you car washed by the cheerleaders at their fundraisers. buy fireworks from the high school band's fireworks booth. etc.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 14, 2014 9:55 a.m.

    Gambling is fun. Plus, whether I wanted to do it on the net (I don't) or if I choose to drive out of state to pursue it along with the benefits of comp beer (I do), I get to provide revenue to states that don't put on airs of being too high minded and self righteous to accept such revenue. That, after all, is just an act.

  • Whatever Springville, UT
    May 14, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    Sheldon Adelson writes a bill to crush online gambling because he doesn't like the competition and Chafffetz, who we all know has absolutely no ideas of his own, is serving as his personal errand boy. It'll be interesting to see what kind of campaign contribution he gets s for this. Business as usual in Washington...

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    May 14, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    If gambling were to be phased out, whence would come the replacement funds upon which states now depend? Expanding gambling opportunities has been a convenient way to maintain high-revenue tax sources without bothering the Aristocratic class that has been emerging for the past thirty years with higher taxes. Utah has the convenience of a low population and exploitable land that has been allocated for the benefit of other states, while Hawaii likewise avoids the lure of gambling outlets because of consistent revenue from tourism.

    One broad strategy would be to overhaul our special-interest oriented tax code and empower localities to address the reasons why spending time gambling is chosen over more worthy pursuits and encourage/provide opportunities accordingly. But alas, when we elect dunces like Chaffetz, we will reap lousy, uncreative ideas that don't actually address long term issues.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 14, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    Making gambling illegal will not stop the bad effects of gambling.

    First gambling is fun. It is quick, easy and exciting. If that were all that it is, there would be no reason to control it. But because it competes with the other gambols of our life it threatens the profits of some very important people.

    It is when gambling is for the purpose of hope that it becomes something harmful to the individual and his family and others who depend on him for their hope. Gambling for hope of a better life becomes the last chance for those who have been robbed of hope by our society's robbers of hope.

    The robbers of hope are those people and organizations that discriminate and place blocks and obstacles in the way of equal opportunity and equal justice for all.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    However, to support your point, expanded internet gambling will accelerate the accumulation of wealth at the top. It will be another piece in a global capitalism which serves the top, leaving the less well off with even less. So maybe you're right.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    Re: Lost in DC "..MOST goes for prizes and administrative overhead." MOST goes for prizes? That's better than I thought. Overhead? Why would a lottery be different from other public funds? Anyway, I'm open to any information. Hard data?

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 14, 2014 8:22 a.m.


    too funny!

    since someone lies to us, it's OK for others to lie to us. TOO FUNNY!

    gambling is a tax on the gullible

    Want to make a contribution to education? Go to the local district offices and give them the check for what you would be giving to Idaho. And very little of the $1 lottery ticket price actually goes for education - MOST goes for prizes and administrative overhead

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    May 14, 2014 8:14 a.m.

    Stripping out talk of "rights", "entertainment", accusations of dishonesty in advertising, and looking right at the actual, consistent effects of gambling, it is mathematically and socially just not a good idea. It is effectively a "poor people tax" (being encouraged by lawmakers who are further and further paying to said people out of other people's pockets).

    Now here we are, trying to pass yet another "Okay, let's follow already-established sober-minded law, for realsies from now on" bill that will probably be shot down by those advocating social "progress".

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2014 1:01 a.m.

    "All those years ago, LaGuardia understood why it was important to resist an industry that lures people to spend hard-earned money on false hopes." Ok, the gaming industry lies to us, but we are lied to all the time from all sides. Almost all advertising asserts falsehoods. Especially egregious are the adds for for-profit trade schools which use actors posing as students to lure unsuspecting kids into their largely worthless programs. Do you care about that?

    Most people who gamble, and I mean most, know that it is an entertainment EXPENSE. Once a month my wife and I trek to Malad to make our monthly donation to Idaho education. We do it because it is a day outing. Yes, we check to see if we won anything, but we haven't won more than a few bucks yet. Public lotteries represent a relatively painless way to tax.

    Also, day trading is gambling. But in your minds it's legitimate. Why the difference?