By Jamie Hancock, MLIS
For the last five years, I have been the mastermind of a criminal operation. My business has been largely successful because: 1) there is a high demand for these types of services and 2) I always conduct secret transactions with my clients. I’ve also been extremely lucky, in terms of profit and evading federal prosecution. However, if someone were to report my illegal activity, I have ways of dealing with them...
Fortunately, it has never come to that. This spring, I’m running a March Madness tournament pool for the sixth straight year. I’m using the CBS Sportsline.com Bracket Manager to track the results of client picks for 64 games. With 24 participants at $15 a pop, I stand to make a pretty good bonus if I pick the right teams. In the second week of action, my Final Four predictions look strong, with
Still, I’m concerned for my livelihood and the financial security of my family and friends. On
Congress believes that Internet gambling is a problem, but it wants to preserve the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978.
The feds have bigger fish to fry. UIGEA primarily targets designated payment systems (i.e. PayPal, Google Checkout, WebMoney) in order to cut the money flow from gamblers to Internet gambling sites. On
Like many other gambling websites, Bodog and Full Tilt Poker have not been deterred by the legislation. The former is housed in
While offshore companies currently remain unaffected, it is unknown how the Secretary of Treasury, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Attorney General plan to identify and block illegal transactions. These officials have until July 2007 (270-day period after the bill’s passage) to establish procedures for regulating money transfers to overseas gambling merchants. Critics of the bill say that it’s an immense technological challenge. The Automated Clearing House network (ACH), a processing system utilized by the Federal Reserve, can’t distinguish between a gambling transaction and a car payment; nor can any other kind of payment system. In simple terms, a bank that sends money to another bank account does not keep records on the person who holds the receiving account.
One option under consideration is to assign a merchant code to online gambling operators and forbid banks and payment systems from sending money to companies with this code (VISA created the 7995 code to prevent credit card use on gambling sites in 2001). This problem with this method is that it may block legitimate transactions unrelated to gambling. In addition, the
Another unresolved issue is the bill’s impact on Internet service providers (ISPs) and search engines located in the
Not surprisingly, the international community has not been supportive of the
One of the reasons the WTO objects to the UIGEA is that the
The UIGEA is intended to curb Internet gaming fraud and gambling addiction, prevent ease of access to children, and eliminate fronts for money laundering, drug trafficking, and terrorist financing. There is no question that the online gambling industry is well established in
In all fairness to the politicians, a legitimate businessman like myself should be respected and not admonished. Just because I let my 11 year-old cousin participate in the March Madness contest (and he picks Duke to win every year) does not mean I’m being irresponsible. I am offering him an opportunity to win a great deal of money and someday he will be victorious. Until then, I’m going to keep taking his money.
(By the way, $200 out the total $360 in my tournament pool is being donated to charity).
Editor’s Note: As far as we know, Jamie has never gone Up The River for spearheading this annual wagering wingding.