WSJ Op-Ed Supports Easing Online Gambling LawsPublished April 12, 2008 by OCR Editor
The venerable Wall Street Journal has joined the growing ranks of those raising eyebrows at the murky implications of American anti-online gambling laws.
Criticism of the devious piece of legislation banning online gambling in America has been mounting, especially as of last week when congress sat for a session exploring the critiques UIGEA - the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
The Act has drawn condemnation from groups across the financial and law enforcement sectors due to its apparent inability to provide a clear system that can be defined and enforced.
Recently, worried bankers have turned to congressional lawmakers for alternatives to what seems to now be the bankers’ legal obligation to crack down on gambling-related money transfers – a task they consider to be well beyond their professional jurisdiction.
UIGEA has wasted no time in becoming a cause for friction with the international community as well. Complaints have rolled in from the EU and individual nations stating that the US gambling policy is infringing on their own sovereign right to control or to not control the online habits of their citizens, and constitutes violations of the World Trade Organization. Numerous such confrontations have occurred since the creation of the law, creating a situation that many see as another perpetuation of the “USA versus everyone” worldview.
Enter the Wall Street Journal
What is interesting about the veteran conservative paper’s entry into the fray is the simple fact that it has done so.
This issue is no longer confined to a handful of gambling enthusiasts grumbling to each other in the obscurity of their fledgling website. This issue is on the map, as its inclusion in the Journal underscores.
Furthermore, the opinion of the paper is anything but ambiguous. Cleverly titled "Time to Fold," the article is a symbol of the negative public interest that seems to be growing in response to the UIGEA fiasco. Even non-gamblers stand to be affected at this point, both in the US and abroad - and that’s not something that people are going to take sitting down.