The public discussion over the legalization of online gambling in the U.S. has been in motion for some time now, and last week U.S. Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) made an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno to discuss the controversial issue. Representative Frank has been a long time proponent of legalizing online gaming and is currently attempting to have his bill – HR 2267 passed by the U.S. Government. Frank is accompanied by millions of gamblers who also believe the government should not be able to dictate what can and can’t be done in the personal lives of its citizens. If passed, Bill HR 2267 would give the people the right to gamble where they please, whether that be on their couch or at the local brick and mortar casino.
Very little time was wasted during Franks visit with Jay Leno as he quickly pointed out that the U.S. Government was missing out on a tremendous opportunity to ease the economic hardship of the country by regulating and taxing the online gaming industry. Frank went on to say, “Why we think it’s the governments business is beyond me, we could make billions a year by legalizing online gambling and taxing it”. After this statement and past trends, I can’t help but wonder if it’s just all about power, money and control with these guys.
Nevertheless, the audience that night was clearly behind Mr. Frank’s statements, but Jay Leno was no lame duck as he pointed out that the reason online gaming was accepted is because it’s not readily available. He went on to say that “Vegas works because you have to travel across a desert to get there, you lose your money and then go home. You can’t go to the casino again until you have more money. If you are sitting at home and you’re up late at night and have your little credit card with you, next thing you know… it’s like having a mini bar”.
Leno’s argument was shot down quicker than a Japanese fighter jet as Barney Frank pointed to the numerous casinos that exist across the U.S., not just in Las Vegas. Certainly though, Frank defended his baby (HR 2267) by pointing out that it excluded the use of credit cards for gambling and that one must use a debit or prepaid card, making it impossible to gamble with cash you don’t have. The two went on to discuss things like education and legalization of Marijuana, but Frank finished up by stating “As a general rule, our government should not be trying to live the lives of its citizens.”