The IGREA Initiative Encourages the Repeal of the UIGEA

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Last week Casino Gambling Web representatives delivered 435 informational packages and a CD to every congress person in the United States House of Representatives. This week Casino Gambling Web requested all Americans who were affected by last year’s passing of the UIGEA to call in support of this mission, which was titled ‘The IGREA Initiative’.

As a result of this request for all affected Americans to call their congress person to express their support for ‘The IGREA Initiative’, the site received many requests asking to explain what exactly ‘The IGREA Initiative’ is.

The IGREA is short for the ‘Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act’, or Bill H.R. 2046, which is the bill Congressman Barney Frank proposed in congress as a repeal to the UIGEA.

‘The IGREA Initiative’ has four parts.

The first part is the petition statement that the site sponsored that was signed in large majority by poker players and those wishing to express their desire to gain their freedom back in America. The petition statement demanded an immediate repeal of the UIGEA.

All comments were organized by state and copied onto papers correlating to each state’s representatives. Each packet delivered was hand addressed to each representative. To see the comments from the petition those interested can go to the Petition that is still up and running and read them. On the petition site the names may say anonymous, but on the delivered packet full names were used along with the person’s state, and zip code, which is why a copy of that portion of the ‘The IGREA Initiative’ cannot be released.

The second part of ‘The IGREA Initiative’ was a list of 10 reasons why Internet gambling should be legalized. There were no special interests addressed in this portion of the packet and the general theme was that Americans want their freedom back, that regulations of Internet gambling are needed to protect problem and underage gamblers, and that legalization is needed in order to comply with current WTO rulings. That portion of the packet was hand signed by an American voting citizen who has no special interest in gambling, but simply believes in retaining freedom of American.

The third part of ‘The IGREA Initiative’ was a summary of Barney Frank’s Bill H.R. 2046.

The fourth part of ‘The IGREA Initiative’ was a CD that contained all the testimony given at the Financial Services Hearing on whether Internet gambling could be effectively regulated at the current time.

Also included on the CD was the complete petition with the complete list of names and comments. A Harvard University Study and a South African study on gambling were also included on the CD. Each CD was unique in that each state representative was addressed when the CD was open.

No where on this packet of papers, or on the CD, is Casino Gambling Web mentioned, as this action was done on behalf of the American people who were strongly disappointed that a freedom was taken away from them with the passing of last year’s UIGEA.

Thailand Prime Minister References Moving Out of Gambling Dark Ages

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Gambling is coming. It is coming on a worldwide basis, and there is not much politicians who are stuck in the dark ages can do to stop the movement.

It seems as though every day, another country is legalizing some form of gambling. It is no longer just a practice for underground crime. It now is a way for governments to fund big gaps in their yearly budgets.

The Prime Minister of Thailand referenced to his weekly television and radio audience, that their time, indeed, is coming for the legalization of gambling in the country.

“This practice has been adopted world-wide, and will be used soon in Thailand. So I can answer to all students that you just have to wait, but not for long,” said Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej.

The quote was in response to a viewer’s question regarding scholarships. Sundaravej went on to say that a new system of “lotto” type gambling is on the horizon. He also is considering legalizing casino gambling.

“When gambling is legalized, there will be no longer the need for police to act on gambling dens,” he said. There is no timetable for the legalization of gambling. Sundaravej did mention that Thailand would be following the models of Malaysia, Shanghai, Macau, and Singapore.

Text Messaging to Win a Prize Could be Illegal Gambling

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A popular television game show, ‘Deal or No Deal’, is accused of providing ‘gambling’ via telephone.

Two Georgia game show fans have file a federal lawsuit against the popular game show and NBC for an undisclosed amount of money. The lawsuit charges that during the broadcast of each show, viewers at home are encouraged to text a message to the show, at a charge of 99 cents for each text message for a chance to win $10,000.

The two fans, one a Georgia hairdresser, one a secretary allege that these shows like Deal or No Deal and their contests equate to gambling. A judge in Georgia dismissed the suit locally which encouraged the two to file with suit the federal government.

Advertisers often use text messaging for promotions, shows like The Apprentice and One vs. 100 have been taking in large sums of money by having viewers text messages . The ‘take’ is usually shared by the promoters and the cell phone companies.

Clearly this is gambling, a user pays a set fee for the chance to win something of value. There are many companies that utilize similar promotions to increase sales and product recognition, however most companies do in fact give something of value to each contestant. An example of this is beverage companies that have bottle-cap promotions, where a consumer must purchase a soft drink, then look under the cap to see if there is a prize. In this instance the consumer is not gambling because they are receiving something of value (the soft drink), similar contests are offered by just about every major player in the can and bottle industry, either under the cap or behind the label, or inside the candy bar wrapping. These are contests that do not cost more for an entry than the end user will normally pay for the product and most offer by mail, free entry without the purchase of a product.

Those shows or contest that charge a fee for a chance to win are operating a gambling game that one can equate to any lottery or slot machine. No skill is involved, just luck

Texas Trying to Stall Kickapoo Indian Tribe Gambling Expansion

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The Texas state government has been fighting for years with the United States Department of the Interior over the Kickapoo Indian Tribe’s plan to offer Las Vegas style gambling at its casino near Eagle Pass along the Mexican border.

Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, in a letter to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, asked to delay efforts to allow the tribe this expansion.

Last month, the Interior Department gave the Kickapoo Tribe preliminary approval to expand from poker and bingo to a range of games including, blackjack, keno, roulette and off-track pari-mutual betting on horses or dogs. Details of regulating those games must still be worked out with the federal government.

Cornyn and Abbott criticized the department’s decisions and its procedures for processing gaming permits over a state’s objections.

Abbott said the department “should have waited for a federal appeals court ruling on Texas’ claim that those procedures unconstitutionally usurp the state?s power to prohibit casino gambling.”

“Many times over the years, Texans have spoken on whether to allow casino-style gaming,” Cornyn wrote in his letter. “The answer has always been clear ? casinos are not wanted in Texas.”

Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, a tribe can offer the same games permitted in the state. Texas has legal pari-mutual betting on dogs and horses, and a state run lottery. The Interior Departments approval letter said the “States definition of a lottery is broad enough to include traditional casino-style games, except slot machines.”

When Cornyn was the Texas attorney general, he fought to close Indian casinos saying, “States should have more of a say in decisions about gambling within their borders.”

The Kickapoo Tribe has been trying to expand gaming operations for more than a decade. In 2004, Texas sued the Interior Department after federal officials announced plans to move ahead with the tribes request despite the states objections. The lawsuit was dismissed a year later by a district judge.

Texas Lawmakers Split On Whether Or Not To Create Casino Industry

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The state of Texas has been one of the states that has turned away from casino gambling in the past. They have lawmakers that are now discussing making the state a central figure for gambling, but others who do not want the expansion.

The battle is heating up all across the state. A new Bill that has been proposed would bring twelve casinos to Texas and with that may casinos, it means that they would be located in different counties.

Each of the counties has their own opinion on whether there should be casinos. Officials from Tarrant County have come out lately against casinos, fearing that they are only being used as a way out of financial difficulty.

“It’s not the sort of economic development I want to encourage,” said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, “At this point, I’m just not sure I can see the merits of doing that.”

The new Bill that has been introduced has come from both sides of the aisle. Four lawmakers have sponsored the Bill, two of them are Democrats and the other two Republicans. While it is receiving support in the state government, individual cities are not as enthusiastic.

“I would explore other sources of revenue before I would encourage casino gambling in our city,” said Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief. Fort Worth is one of the areas that is a potential site for a casino.

Other possible sites include Dallas, El Paso, and Galveston. There also would be three tribal casinos if the Bill is approved.