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Online Poker Leads to Child Abuse?

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Jun/11/2009
Child Abuse and Online Gambling

Appearing on CNBC's Dennis Kneale, Reed Kathrein of the law firm, Hagens Berman Sobol & Shapiro, made what many would consider the most "laughable" assertion against online gambling. 

In Kathrein's own words:  "Online gambling addiction leads to child abuse".

At first we thought he was going to tow the anti-online gambling line of "children can access these online gambling websites and become addicts".

Kathrein actually managed to do what seemed impossible before his appearance on the show.  He made the right wing zealots comments about "under age gamblers" seem reasonable in comparison to what he had to offer up.

"Internet gambling's got to be stopped.  It's not a victimless crime."

Yeah, yeah, we've heard it all before, Reed.  Children can access these online gambling sites and start playing with Mommy and Daddy's credit card.  Don't worry about the act of stealing said card. 

"The cost to society is estimated to be between $32 billion to $43 billion.  The societal costs, the alcoholism."

Say what? 

This guy makes Representative and anti online gambling zealot, Spencer Bachus, seem - dare we say it - rational.

Child abuse?

But just to clear up any misconception, Kneale asked his guest:  "So if I play online poker, I'm going to abuse my child?  You're saying there is a correlation there?"

"I'm not going to say YOU are," Kathrein responded.

Oh, but EVERYONE ELSE IS?   A percentage of the population will and a larger percentage.

Uhhhh...okay.

Kneale lashed out at his guest a little deeper into the interview, suggesting he would probably find little proof to back up Kathrein's comments.

How Kneale's other guest, Frank Catania of Catania Consulting Group, was able to keep a straight face is anyone's guess.

Catania stated that US Government has "gone overboard on this".

He added:  "They have really no standing at all to go after any of this money.  This is players money.  The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act has given this as an exemption so there is no reason for them (Department of Justice) to be in there.  The Department of Justice has violated more of the Constitution here than what they are protecting."

Anyway, if you want a good laugh, check out this CNBC video in its entirety.  

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Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com       

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