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Gamblers React to CNBC’s Big Business of Illegal Gambling

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Dec/16/2009

CNBC always puts out the best original programs and Wednesday night's installment of The Big Business of Illegal Gambling was no exception.  Sure it didn't exactly paint the industry in the most glamorous light, but valid points were raised and both sides of the spectrum were presented.

Jay Cohen, founder of the World Sports Exchange, came on record to declare he is back in Antigua (home of WSEX) and has no intention of going back to the United States.  I followed Jay's trial back in 2000 for violation of the "Wire Act" and again his appeal.  Jay was indicted in 1998 along with 20 others (some of whom never returned back to the US).  He thought he could win and was wrong.  Cohen ended up serving close to two years in a federal prison just off the Vegas Strip.  In the CNBC report, he pointed out the same hypocrisies his attorney Ben Brafman did during the trial, the idea of lottery tickets being sold in the same court house he was being tried in.

There was an unusual irony in that both Democratic Congressman Barney Frank and Republican Congressman Ron Paul were debating health care reform and other issues on Larry King Live at the same time the CNBC show was airing.  Frank and Paul are both among the online gambling sectors biggest supporters and they even co-sponsored legislation to legalize the activity.  Not surprisingly, the two were very respectful towards one another.  I stuck to CNN knowing that the CNBC program would repeat at 10 pm.

So the big question is, How did the online gambling community react to the CNBC show The Big Business of Illegal Gambling?

Not surprisingly, the folks from Two Plus Two Poker Forum were not exactly thrilled with online gambling prohibition co-author Republican Bob Goodlatte's dwelling on some sap with a gambling problem who ended up committing robbery to pay back his debts.  Maybe Goodlatte should be more concerned about how to cure compulsive addictive behavior.  If the guy couldn't gamble to satisfy this sickness, he'd find another vehicle to fuel his compulsions.  Maybe SEX.  Did someone say "Tiger Woods"?

As one might expect, those committed to the industry believed the focus was a little too lopsided in favor of the negative. 

One poster wrote:

"Shows like the one on CNBC are too general. It didn't go into detail especially about online poker, but rather scraped the scab of our favorite sore ub/ab (referring to the UltimateBet/Absolute Poker cheating scandal featured as part of the report). It was pretty much old news.  Overall I wasn't really impressed with this show. all i heard was how it's unlikely it is to be regulated, and ILLEGAL, ILLEGAL, ILLEGAL."

"Bad bad show for online poker, makes it look illegal and shady."

 

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

 

 

 

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