Thursday, March 26, 2009

US Government Helping Out Organized Crime

New Jersey state Senator Raymond Lesniak thinks the US government is helping no one but criminals by imposing prohibition against sports gambling. The state lawmaker has filed suit to strike the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which prevents states from legalizing sports wagering.

Lesniak says the ban has not prevented sports betting in the least. He insists that no one could seriously claim that sports gambling is not occurring everywhere in the US.

"Rather than supporting thousands of jobs, economic activity and tourism, the federal ban supports offshore operators and organized crime," said the Jersey legislator.

The National Gaming Impact Study Commission says illegal sports gambling in the US may range as high as $380 billion annually. One of the plaintiffs in Lesniak's lawsuit, iMEGA, showed estimates that sports gambling could bring $10 billion to New Jersey business a year, with over $100 million in state tax revenue.

Proponents of legalized and regulated sports gambling repeat the arguments offered by those for online casinos: the goals of those who establish the bans would be far better served by regulation. By seeking to limit consumer exposure to criminals, the law actually chases out legitimate gambling operators, leaving the field to those outside the law.

And by seeking to protect games from corruption, they let corruption bloom undiscovered, away from the light and transparency of regulation. European sports leagues have cooperated for some time with Internet casinos to prevent match fixing.

Thanks to Carla Weitz

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