In her latest op-ed piece, for Forbes online, Michelle Minton of the Competitive Enterprise Institute explains why Harry Reid’s pushed to legalize Internet Poker is at its heart a win-win both parties and should be a no-brainer for bi-partisan support.
Minton points out that Reid is just part of a growing number of US politicians who are realize banning online betting is a fruitless endeavor. The public is still betting but with companies outside of the US jurisdiction. Legalization and regulation would increase tax revenue, create jobs and economic growth.
Minton states that Reid’s proposal “provides a good opportunity for Congress members from both parties to turn their stated commitment to bipartisanship into substantive change.”
Minton discusses Barney Frank’s failed attempts to repeal the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Frank’s most recent attempt to regulate online gaming –the Internet Gambling, Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267) – failed to gain steam, despite earning bi-partisan support from the Financial Services Committee.
Most pundits feel if the bill doesn’t pass during the lame duck session, then nothing will change. That’s despite the increase of politicians who won on the promise of “reducing the size and scope of government, lowering taxes, and freeing individuals and businesses from overregulation.”
Minton challenges those elected on those ideals to uphold those ideals by overturning the ban on Internet gambling.
The Democrats, who oppose legislating morality, should support overturning the UIGEA based on it being a law that it attempts to stop adults from voluntarily engaging in a private activity.
In her final point, Minton suggests overturning the ban will save the US Government from unnecessary legal complications. Overturning the UIGEA will bring them in line with the World Trade Organization agreements. The US has already faced fines and legal action based on their decisions to refuse to abide by the World Trade Organization agreements by blocking foreign gaming sites from the American market.
Minton summarizes by pointing out that overturning the ban is a win for the Democrats espousing personal freedoms and the Republicans aiming to limit the bloat of the Federal Government.