Finally an industry personality who possesses some facts and figures has been able to carry out a public debate with Rep. James Leach, the person best identified as being a would-be blight on Internet gambling. And based on the early reports, online gambling made out the best.
CEO of online gaming firm BETonSPORTS place, David Carruthers, took part in a mutual debate this week with Jim Leach, the U.S. Congressman, on the anti-online gambling allegations of the latter that were made in support of his most recent proposal. The Wall Street Journal Online hosted, and mediated the debate, which was conducted through an exchange of e-mails.
Subsequent to the debate, the Wall Street Journal offered the exchange in detail, making note of its earlier online poll, which stated that of the more than 10,000 respondents, 85 percent voted against an online gambling ban in the USA.
Leach (R-Iowa) is sponsoring a bill directed at crippling the online gambling industry by means of the banking sector. The bill was already vetted through a sub-committee earlier this month and has been referred to the full House Judiciary Committee to receive an additional hearing.
The merits of the bill were debated on by Carruthers and Leach. The bill would employ the banking industry to guard against online gambling sites. They would ban the use of checks, credit cards, and money transfers for Internet wagering transactions.
Leach began the debate by arguing that Internet gambling sites are sweeping dollars out of the U.S. and into mostly unknown, probably criminal hands.
Carruthers responded by explaining to Leach that the exact same reasons that he is for regulation are many of the same reasons he, and others, wish to prohibit the industry regulations.
Carruthers described prohibition of online gambling as being catastrophic. That is because the prohibition of online gambling, according to him, would result in the exact opposite effect of what the congress is looking for. He said that rather than stopping online gambling, prohibition would drive it underground where the vulnerable players would be unprotected.
As the debate continued, Leach and Carruthers exchanged e-mails back and forth. One of the highlights of the debate was an invitation from Carruthers to Leach to visit the San Jose, Costa Rica BETonSPORTS corporate facility, or for them to sit down in Washington face-to-face where they could discuss the issue more. Leach did not accept the offer to visit Costa Rica. He said that for him to do so would be ethically dubious, if not outright illegal.
From several industry observers reading the report, the initial consensus was that Carruthers presented some very positive arguments and that he exposed real flaws in the motivation and reasoning of the politician’s with regard to the proposed legislation.