You’ll be shocked – shocked! – to learn that the apparent change of heart in Washington as to the legality of online gambling owes much of its momentum to shameless protectionism. Industry attorney Tony Cabot says it’s obvious that the HR2267 amendment barring international firms that have done business with American punters is meant to benefit Las Vegas casino companies whose fledgling online startups would (in a truly free and fair market) get killed by these same international companies who have been operating for a decade or more.
The sponsor of this ‘Non-Yankee go home’ amendment, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), has also attempted to justify the barring of international operators with the rather preposterous analogy that “Al Capone couldn’t get a liquor license if he’d stayed around to the end of Prohibition.” Apparently, Sherman is under the impression that online gambling operators carried out the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. The truth is, as one astute commenter makes at the bottom of the linked article, the people who supplied Capone with all that whiskey and gin, i.e. the Bronfman family of Montreal (who ran the company that became Seagram Co. Ltd.), were not barred in any way from doing business with Americans post-prohibition. Read more.