Monday, October 02, 2006

Hypocritical Frist Shanks American Poker players

In a midnight deal on the cusp of recess, Bill Frist and his sleazy brigade of back-handed dirtbags piggy-backed their anti-gaming legislation onto, of all things, a Port Security anti-terrorism bill designed to protect American harbors from a similar incident to the Dubai snafu earlier this year.

It takes a real piece of work to trivialize the importance of protecting ports from terrorism and use such an opportunity to push across one's personal agenda. This is politicizing of the worst kind, wreaking of hypocrisy and personal agenda.

Frist talks about "protecting Americans from an addictive disease", presumably he means gambling addiction. This line of thought doesn't bother me, gambling addiction IS a massive problem in America. The problem is that the biggest tax perpetrated against poor American's in our nation's history is lotteries, which (along with horse racing for some reason- a sport very big in Frist's home state of Tennessee) are untouched by the bill.

The thing that chaps me is the hypocrisy of leaving online state lotteries untouched, as well as online wagering on horse racing.

Too many Americans are running up huge credit card bills, defaulting due to gambling. This is true... but isn't it the responsibility of the credit card companies to determine who gets a credit limit and how much it is? I have always thought that no credit card should allow gaming charges, and now many of them don't. If you want to register online to play poker, you should use cash.

Our nation has millions of alcoholics... I wonder why Frist doesn't abolish whiskey? (Oh wait- they tried that didn't they... maybe it has something to do with his Tennesseean constituency). Sure- we should protect EVERYONE from alcohol, even those who use it responsibly, even those who enjoy it without ill effects.

As an alcoholic, I thank God they DON'T do this. It is my responsibility to maintain sobriety, not Bill Frist's. Why should my buddy Tom, who likes a nice hoppy ale once in a while, be denied his right to enjoy it because I can't drink the same beverage without winding up with a black eye and a pregnancy scare?

Online gaming should be regulated and taxed, not abolished. One must think the lobbyists for live casinos, racetracks and slot-machine operators must be ecstatic today. Ironically, the people Frist wants to "protect" get the most reasonable fees from- TA-DA! online casinos. You have to pay at least 4 or 5 times as much for the privilege of sitting at a table in Foxwoods casino as you pay to sit in your living room and play. Add in driving 200 miles round trip and you;d got a crappy deal... I hate Foxwoods by the way, but who exactly is this clown protecting again? Is it me, or the owners and operators of casinos, racetracks and state lotteries?

Chew on this project I did in 8th grade: State lotteries take 40%, that's FORTY PERCENT of what they collect and pocket it. This would be the equivalent of flipping a coin with someone, and when you lose, you lose a quarter, but when you win, you win fifteen cents. This is a slow drain on those addicted to playing the lottery, those "regular" players, can never, ever possibly come out anything close to even.

Worse is the mega-jackpot lotteries. These bastards don't even return the lousy sixty percent. The funds are collected and held (interest free) while the pottery is being held. Say they collect 100 million. Sixty million is the reported jackpot. But they don't distribute the 60 million. They buy an annuity, paying you slowly over twenty years. You can take the cash immediately, but it is discounted to the vaue of the annuity, not the actual jackpot. To add insult to injury, you must then pay taxes on the winnings, and for kicks, you are now in the top tax bracket.

All told, the government redistributes about FIFTEEN PERCENT of what they collect. Any bookie pulling a stunt like this would find himself floating in the bay. Yet, lotteries are kosher, lotteries are bueno. Horse racing is also on the "do not touch" list. Let me just say this, it is INFINITELY easier to fix a gorse race than a poker game online.

Even when I gambled compulsively, I refused to play lotteries. Even when I was an active degenerate gambler, I prayed for the abolition of the state lottery and an end to victimizing people that can't see how badly they are being taken advantage of.

If this assault against online gaming were anything more than an attempt to get a piece of the pie for someone, or to protect bad investments, like previously cherry casinos, I would have less to say.

The funny thing is that online poker provides a free market, something America supposedly supports. Because of the variety of sites available, it is practically impossible to give bad service or bad deals to customers, because they will just go somewhere they are treated well. Unlike the monopoly at Foxwoods, online sites have little choice but to be fair, reputable and efficient, lest they perish.

The bill was in danger of not passing, largely because it is tragically flawed in basic logic and riddled with hypocrisy and favorite-playing, so Frist and his cronies attached it to an anti-terrorism bill, which passed 409-2 in the congress and passed via voice vote in the senate. It is on President Bush's desk. These guys KNEW they didn't have the votes, so they attached it to am anti-terrorism bill (yeah, I said it again) knowing that no one politician in this day and age could afford to vote against any anti-terrorism legislation, especially on the grounds of defending gaming. Though it more a defense of personal freedom than of gaming itself.

How about taking a few pornographers abusing kids down? How about tracking American businessmen abusing children in Malaysia, the Philippines and abroad, how about working to stop the purchasing of human beings by Americans for the purposes of sexual slavery?

Surely, these self-agrandizing goons have GOT to have something better to do than protect casinos and lotteries under the guise of protecting Americans from using their freedom the way they choose.

This isn't about protecting gambling addicts, it's about making sure the addicts buy only from you. I've gotta tell you, if I can't play online poker, I am STILL not going to live rip-off casinos. I STILL will NEVER play a lottery as long as I live, and I will wait...because in this country, this kind of b.s. usually has a backlash and things tend to even out. I have faith that this is so ludicrous and uneven that it will work out.

1 Comments:

Blogger Debbie said...

Korte,

You bring up excellent points - and though you write this with a passion because it affects you personally, you still managed to be fair in your statements. I think this is worthy of some print press - it reads like an editorial and I know you'll have a great deal of support behind what you say.

Either way, well-said!

- Debbie

9:38 PM  

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