For those of you that are not arcade aficionados, Whack-A-Mole is an arcade game played by children who stand overboard with a bunch of holes in it and when you put in your money moles start popping of holes in the board. You have a big hammer, and the object of the game is to knock down as many moles as possible. As the game progresses more moles pop up but stay up for a shorter period, so the pace of the game quickens. The objective of the game is to knock down a mole every time one come up the more you knock down, the more tickets you win. Wait a minute isn’t this gambling?
Congress is considering legislation that would ban gambling over the Internet. Legalized online casino gambling is all over Europe and Asia and the Americas. For the Congress to think that they can stop Americans from playing at Internet casinos and other online gambling is like playing the biggest Whack-A-Mole game ever and thinking you can win.
The choices of casinos offshore on the Internet is almost limitless and the governors of the 47 states that allow online casino gambling want the central government to step aside and left the states to regulate, supervise, and receive the significant tax revenue from these Casino operators to help fund the operations of their states.
Senator Lindsey Graham has been a supporter of allowing the states continue to offer this to their citizens and supervise this activity. He has written to the new Attorney General Jeff Sessions who has responded that he is reviewing the Wire Act of 1961 as it applies to online casino gambling.
Short History of the Wire Act
The Wire Act passed in 1961 as part of a Kennedy-era push against organized crime. The relevant part reads:
“Whoever being engaged in the business of betting or wagering knowingly uses a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest, or for the transmission of a wire communication which entitles the recipient to receive money or credit as a result of bets or wagers, or for information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”
Organized crime used the telegraph wire system to conduct illegal sports bets across state lines and circumvent the legal authorities. They were operating an illegal activity, which is different than using the Internet to play games. The act of Internet gaming is a legal activity in 47 states and is regulated by those states.
Laws need to be passed to fit an abusive situation and then reviewed as to their applicability in the modern world. The mob was making money illegally through their activities. They were not paying income taxes on their illegal gains. Today the wire act is outdated and does not apply because the activities are not illegal, but the companies pay taxes.
The states that regulate this business and receive tax revenue to support the services of the States on behalf of its citizens. The issue is much broader than just casino gambling, for you can buy Power Ball and Mega Millions of tickets along with many state lotteries tickets online. Clearly, multistate lottery’s are a form of gambling, in fact, may think the odds are worse in a lottery than at slot machines.
Let go back to my example of my Whack-A-Mole game. If the casino game is one of our moles and we knock it down, then the Power Ball mole pops up, and then the Mega Millions rears its ugly head, and then the 48 state lotteries popup and then how about all the sweepstakes. Can you imagine the number of moles that would pop up on the Whack-A-Mole board?
The best thing to do is to leave a sleeping mole to lie in their holes. We have more important things to do than playing a game of Whack-A-Mole.
Dan Perkins is an author, radio and TV talk show host, current events commentator, and philanthropist. His books are available on Amazon.com. More information about him, his writings, and other works are on his website: danperkins.guru.