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Author: [The Archives] Topic: Industry in distress: How did it come to this?
Mr_Covers send a private message View Space | Friends | Playbook |
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#1
Posted: 2/1/2007 8:13:11 AM
Industry in distress: How did it come to this?
By Joe MacDonald
 
Who is Joe MacDonald?
 
It took a decade of legal manipulating, some short-sighted and conflicting government policies, dirty politicking, a perfect storm of Congressional ineptitude, and a heaping helping of righteous indignation, but the government is finally getting some results in its war against online gaming.
 
Click here to read the full article. 
 
This is an absolute "must read" for all members of Covers.com
 
 
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#2
Posted: 2/1/2007 8:29:37 AM
A good read.
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#3
Posted: 2/1/2007 8:34:52 AM
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#4
Posted: 2/1/2007 8:54:14 AM
Well said Joe.
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#5
Posted: 2/1/2007 9:25:25 AM
"those who really want to gamble online can"
 
 
Now, excuse me, I need to reload my account.
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#6
Posted: 2/1/2007 9:27:51 AM
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#7
Posted: 2/1/2007 9:30:58 AM
I consider this a 'must read' article, so please take a read guys.
 
Cheers,
Ponch
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#8
Posted: 2/1/2007 9:35:36 AM
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#9
Posted: 2/1/2007 9:40:29 AM
wow....great article Covers
 
FnS
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#10
Posted: 2/1/2007 10:00:33 AM
I think this is a very "present-minded" article...I dont exactly support this guy trying to predict the future of online gambling, because nobody can. What he knows is that some money transfer sites were eliminated (ie; neteller), and that it is more difficult for the casual player to deposit. He sure takes this concept for a wild ride down pessimism lane. I personally havent seen any vice in America be squelched significantly by the US government and I certainly dont expect gambling (the most publicized, accepted and televised vice of all) to be excluded from this list...but good luck
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#11
Posted: 2/1/2007 10:04:52 AM
nice article.
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#12
Posted: 2/1/2007 10:57:02 AM
w3rdv303, I don't think I read the same article as you.

it doesnt say gambling will be shut down, just that the ways to get money to offshore sportsbooks will be blocked.

nobodys going to stop gambling but it could get real tough to send money easily.

This is very similar to what appeared in the Wall Street Journal the other day, so it's not like this is the only place thinking about this stuff.




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#13
Posted: 2/1/2007 10:59:45 AM
Good article.  What you left out is the fact that this movement will assist in helping the big Vegas casinos get a toehold into online gambling.  Some have already either bought assets of offshore sites, or are researching possible investments.  The best bet is to buy the Vegas casino stocks, because they will benefit handsomely from online gaming.
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#14
Posted: 2/1/2007 11:10:30 AM
Excellent, excellent column Joe. The industry really needs your voice.
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#15
Posted: 2/1/2007 11:10:41 AM
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#16
Posted: 2/1/2007 11:15:14 AM
We'll always have ways to get our money to online gaming sites, although might not be convenient. But the way the govt is winning or IMO has won the war, is getting these sites to shut down to US citizens. Pinnacle being the big one.  I have used BOS, Bodog, Mansion and have looked at many other sites and IMO non of them compare to Pinny.  I/we could all use Pinny if we want to.  All we'd have to do is get a bank account in Canada or Europe and then a PO box, which would be worth it for the big Bettor.  It wouldnt be worth it to me or the other $50-$100 Bettors.
 
But the US arresting those two guys from Netteller is complete BS and just shows the US citizens how corrupt it is.  Also like the article said, 95% of Americans support or could care less if we gamble online, but like it said, the govt just doesnt want to look stupid.  Well you know what?  Its not complicated to change a rule/law.  It happens all the time.  Just take the vote...listen to what americans want.
 
Why can my grandmothers sit around and sew and knit all day?  Thats what they like to do.  Why dont they make a law against that?  I bet 95% of americans would prefer to gamble over sewing.  Why let them do something they enjoy when i cant do something that i enjoy?  Absolute Bullshit.
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#17
Posted: 2/1/2007 11:52:22 AM
Good read, thanks
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#18
Posted: 2/1/2007 11:52:40 AM
Great article? Maybe I'm missing something here, but this is no more than one man's opinion, mostly unfounded. I have to take issue with a few of his assertions.....

Not to mention a frank lack of balls on the part of every American online gambler who wants to gamble online but was afraid to make a public issue of it.

Lack of balls? This coming from a muckety-muck of a company that is about nothing but on line sports betting, yet took 3 weeks to acknowledge that anything was even going on? The majority of Covers traffic comes from the US, yet this is the first Covers article I've seen dealing directly with changes in US gaming law since Pinnacle went down. And the players lack balls?

They can`t go into business with the same criminals who have been humiliating them at every turn.

It has everything to do with authorities being tired of having a criminal industry continually undermine their authority and make them look impotent in front of the public.


Criminals? What criminals? Gambling is legal, remember? Legal for US players (at least, undefined and debateable) and legal for offshore books within their jurisdictions. Stop making excuses for them.

We didn`t try to negotiate a long-term solution. We didn`t hold rallies. We didn`t petition Congress or the Senate. We didn`t seriously lobby politicians. We didn`t offer valid concessions or alternatives. We didn`t go on Meet the Press, O`Reilly, or even Letterman.

Long term solution to what? Negotiate with who? Gambling was (quasi-) legal and accessible, as it should be. What would we have been negotiating for? Seems to me the ones who don't want to negotiate anything are people like Frist, who is obviously afraid of healthy debate.

This whole argument is backwards. The time for rallies and petitioning the Congress is now, not before there was a problem. How do you hold a rally for something that is already the way you want it to be? And "we" didn't offer valid concessions or alternatives because "we" weren't given the opportunity to, remember? As for Letterman and O'Reilly, they're hardly interested in this issue even now, when it actually is an issue. Who exactly was going to be invited to go on one of those shows?

Any novice gangster will tell you that the worst thing you can do is piss off The Man and back Him into a corner.

Actually, confrontation and defiance is the best way to get laws changed in your favor, second only to lobbying and bribery. Just look at the civil rights movement, for instance. The one thing he can legitimately blame the offshore industry for is being unprepared and unorganized, and letting domestic US gambling interests out-lobby and out-bribe them.


Finally, where is the solution that Mr. MacDonald proposes? Quite a bit of criticism of the industry and players for making bad choices in the past, but I read the article at least 3 times without ever seeing any suggestions for current actions we could take. The last two words, "Let's talk" come closest, but talk to whom?
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#19
Posted: 2/1/2007 12:34:30 PM
Fair criticism Matador
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#20
Posted: 2/1/2007 12:45:54 PM
Matador,

You make a lot of valid points.

Frankly, Covers has NOT shown a lot of balls either, but I would lump us in with the "Industry" side (we were the ones displaying hubris and industry mismanagement), rather than the sports bettors. It's not illegal to bet in Canada, anyway.

If anything, the uncertainty of the situation has worked to the benefit of Covers in the past, since we were based in Canada. We thought it was better to keep quiet and stay under the radar. In retrospect, it was a short-sighted policy that helped us grow as a company, but it did nothing to help change the longterm situation.

I purposefully used the word "criminals" to make a point. As long as the US government views the industry as unlawful and continues arresting, charging, and convicting participants, then what would you call it? If it walks like a duck...

Maybe the law is unjust. I'm sure the Neteller guys will find a lot of solace in that thought when they are doing 20-years of federal time.

You can keep the blinders on and trying to maintain the status quo, but unless the industry works to get the laws changed, the legal situation isn't going to change either.

This is not a 3-week old problem, it's been festering for years. Maybe you haven't felt there was a problem, because you could always gamble. But for as long as the government was preoccupied with trying to shut the industry down, there WAS a problem, but it just didn't happen to affect you.

Confrontation and defiance definitely work as an agent for change. But they aren't particularly effective when the oppressed minority is disorganized and easily marginalized and ignored.

We can consider us marginalized right now, and it will definitely stay that way if we put our heads back in the sand and avoid the central issue. We've got to stop trying to find simple bandaids for the problem (ie. alternative payment methods), and attack this problem at the source.

We need to get the laws changed. Maybe we do follow the path of the civil right movement and organize marches. I doubt that would work in this case. We need to lobby. We need to get the grassroots organizations to support us. We need to take the blinders off, and start thinking about the right way to do this.

That's the entire point of the article.

I'm not claiming to have all of the answers. I'm just the kid pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes.

We all need to talk and figure out the best way to coerce the government into changing the laws. It's time to get organized.

If you don't agree, then you can continue on your merry way, but don't think you are making a difference.

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#21
Posted: 2/1/2007 1:28:39 PM
My point is that whether this problem has been festering for 3 weeks or 10 years, and whether or not I appreciated the problem sufficiently, there was still nothing in my power I could have done to affect it. Legislation of laws works by making things illegal, not legal. If the status quo is legal, or treated as legal, there's rarely a compelling reason to pass legislation just to clarify the law. That's the jurisdiction of the courts.

I agree with you that confrontation and defiance "aren't particularly effective when the minority is disorganized and easily marginalized and ignored." But that's because no course of action is particularly effective for the disorganized and marginalized. Compliance and passivity would be even worse.

Which brings us to the crux of the matter which we can agree on. What are we going to do to make gamblers' rights advocates a  significant political force? That's what I think was missing from your article. The call to action that you posted in response belongs in the article itself.

I agree we have to talk and come up with a comprehensive plan of action -- involving everyone in the industry in whatever capacity. What better forum for organizing than Covers? I for one am willing to donate money and time. I just need to be more than a lone voice in the wilderness. Point me in the right direction, Joe. I'm a soldier. What are my marching orders?
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#22
Posted: 2/1/2007 1:36:02 PM
If I could make a comment here.  Isn't this also an issue of taxation?  How to tax online gaming is the real question at hand here.  It was the the off-shore gambling house's defying the government on the taxation of revenues generated from U.S. that has got us in this bind.  This issue must be addressed at the industry level, and negotiated between the industry and the U.S. government.
There is no way that this can be resolved by the gambler's themselves voicing there dislike for the regulations that have been put in place, effectively stopping the sending money from the US to these sights.  The gambling industry in the US is just to big and influential for this to be effective.
 
I would call for the offshore gaming industry to submit to paying taxes on the profits from US funds, and negotiate in good faith with US Revenue service.
 
We all have to pay our taxes.
 
 
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#23
Posted: 2/1/2007 1:40:44 PM
I don't want to give the impression the I don't have anything to contribute in regard to ideas though. If we are going to try to get better organised, any noticeable action along the way would be helpful. Here's one of my ideas:

Since the NFL played a role in the passage of recent legislation, let's pick a single day to have as many bettors as possible cancel their "Sunday Ticket" packages. Even those who lack the commitment to follow through could support it because they could just reorder later. At least DirecTV and the NFL would be forced to recognize us and think about the implications of alienating a large segment of their fan base.
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#24
Posted: 2/1/2007 1:41:06 PM
Matador,

This was the first of a series of articles during which I hope to discuss as many good alternatives as we can muster.

Good to have you on our side!

In the meantime, this is as appropriate as any place to begin the conversation.

We need to find ways to mobilize our community and direct their energy into something productive for the cause.

This won't be easy. We are a group that has traditionally tried to hide our identities and keep our hobby to ourselves. We are spread out all over the continent, but the Internet has at least given us a gathering place right here.

It's not feasible to plan rallies or marches, but maybe there are other ways we can show the strength of our numbers.

We need more than petitions, although that's a start.

Let's face it, we need an effective lobby.

But beyond that, we need some smart, clever and effective ways we can organize ourselves and prove that we are a force to be reckoned with.

We are a smart and resourceful bunch. We should be able to come up with some cool ideas on how to positively get our cause into the public's consciousness.

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#25
Posted: 2/1/2007 1:42:48 PM
Matador, I missed that last idea before I posted.

Wow. I think that's a brilliant idea.

I'd hate to lose my Sunday ticket, but that's exactly the type of revolt that would\ get media attention.

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