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Sports Handicapper on Affects of Internet Gambling Ban

Written by:
Tony George
Published on:
Feb/27/2009

We all know how the Internet Gambling Ban has affected our industry as a whole, including the handicapping business over the past 3 years.  Your deposits and withdrawals have become a game of cat and mouse with various offshore books because of it.  Illegal gambling of sports, according to Price Waterhouse is an estimated 38 billion dollar industry currently not taxed and off the books in the US alone.  Only 1% of that number is posted legally through Las Vegas Sportsbooks and taxed.  The offshore numbers are cloudy, not only with sports wagering, but online casino, horse betting and poker rooms.  I assume that number to be in the tens of billions as well.

I once had Beno Cook on my national radio a few years back, and he made a statement that "The only people who do not bet are in the cemetery".  Word is out of Washington in a recent article I read is that that our good friend, whether you are a democrat or republican, Barney Frank, is pushing a bill to repeal the Internet gambling ban.  He has a long tradition of standing firm that the original Internet gambling ban is a violation of civil rights among other things and he does not agree with it.  God Bless him is all I can say.  This bill gaining momentum and could change the face of the industry in a legitimate fashion very soon.  The current Intenet gambling ban has also land the US government in hot water with the World Trade Organization.
With claims of racketeering and money laundering charges assigned to owners of Sportsbooks offshore and Net Teller's owners, many of whom have been convicted and or jailed on plea bargains.  All the while Mr. Matoff remains free after stealing 400 billion dollars from investors in a highly publicized Ponzi scheme.  The US Government has made criminals out of individuals who were operating a free enterprise business in countries that allowed gaming on sports and other forms of gambling who were following the rules and paying taxes like any other corporation.  Think of that, in a country that allows you legally to take a wager over the phone, and that countries federal regulators keep an eye out for shady business practices and make sure you follow the governing laws, the owners of that legal corporation set foot in the states and are arrested and charged with breaking the law.  John Gotti got fairer treatment than these guys for years until his final demise.
Uncle Sam is now on his knees in the world marketplace, and the federal budget deficit is in the trillions, and we are damn near broke as a country.  The US Government all along has had NO problem with gambling, if they did, they would have made illegal the biggest sucker bet on the planet, The State Lotto and Powerball.  What they have a problem with is they cannot regulate, tax and get fair reporting of offshore gambling or gambling within its own borders, to tax it and create revenue from it.  THAT HAS BEEN THE ISSUE THAT HAS BEEN HIDDEN BY DARK HEADLINES ALL ALONG, HAVE NO ILLUSIONS.

Today on the way to work I heard a state congressman from the House of representatives in the state of Missouri on a local ESPN radio show, who is drafting a bill a gaining support to make sports betting legal in the State of Missouri and other states are also becoming friendly to the idea.  It was estimated by Price Waterhouse in an formal survey and study, that the average tax revenue per state would be roughly 200 million dollars a year from sports wagering alone.  Of course that depends on the amount of casinos in that state and the population, but that was the average.  Think of the billions of dollars the feds would get.  Think about how much money the feds need to bail us out the current mess we are, and I bet you a dime to dollar they will ease restrictions in order to create new streams of revenue into state and federal coffers. 

Now is the time Uncle Sam and the States need the money, and now is the time they are taking a second look at this issue with eyes wide open.  Keep an eye on your states legislation, become proactive, contact your state and federal representatives and senators, and let your voice be heard.  A regulated and legal sports gambling act will also clean out all the bad seeds in the bookie business, so the only people against it are organized crime syndicates involved in gambling, and the hell with them! 

Tony George is CEO of Tony George Sports.  Find his selections and tons of info, including Free Plays, 12 of the top cappers in the nation, stats, odds and more at www.sportsaudioshows.com

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