Monday, September 29, 2014

Myth vs. Fact vs. Godzilla - Deconstructing a CSIG "Fact" Sheet

In my roll as Adelson's "Poker Troll" I read and review the various items on his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling website and Facebook page.  One item that repeatedly pops up on the FB page is the "Myth vs. Fact" paper drawn from the December, 2013 hearing on Internet gambling before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.  Basically, they've taken 9 claims made by various proponents of online gaming and "rebutted" them (emphasis on the "butt").  In this rebuttal to the rebuttal, I examine in close detail (and a bit of snark) just how weak their arguments are.

I will post their paper with little markers showing where I feel the need to interject facts, corrections, and sarcasm.  And we begin with the title...

  1. This is the ONLY place the word "Myth" appears - all of the actual arguments are marked "Claim" (pro-online) versus "Fact" (the CSIG).  Naturally, "Myths vs. Facts" is a very provocative title, designed to grab one's attention.  Problem is, the "myths" (or claims) turn out to be true much of the time, and the "Facts" are usually opinions, not facts.  And it goes downhill from there...
  1. This would be smart, since the major booster of CSIG does, in fact, owe his billions to casino gambling.
  2. Not true - Americans have gambled online for almost 15 years -  the Restore America's Wire Act (RAWA) ends online gambling (except the carve-outs of horse racing and fantasy sports).  
  3. This is true, but RAWA isn't "thoughtful legislation" - it's prohibition on ONE form of delivery of gambling.
  4. This is a bad analogy.  Gambling isn't nearly as ubiquitous as cigs and booze.  It's also not true - as many as 23 states offer some type of drive-up alcohol sales. You can also buy cigarettes online.  Jeebus, would someone teach someone at CSIG how to use Google?
  1. They never say this isn't true - they just try to "explain it away."  Nice try.
  2. I wasn't aware that this was a crime.
  3. The "evidence" for this comes from the oft-used-in-this-paper 2009 FBI Letter to Congress. First, two things: One, it's OLD.  Five years is an eternity in the cyber-world.  Second, and most important - the 2009 letter talks about what COULD happen and MIGHT happen, and then concludes that, as far as the FBI knows, it HASN'T happened - see more on this below.
  4. It's interesting that they cite a FIVE-YEAR OLD LETTER from the FBI here, instead of a more recent letter from 2013.  Of course, THAT ONE was shredded to pieces - best done here. And of course, the letters only make the case FOR, not AGAINST, online gambling regulation.

  1. Not true.  RAWA ENDS online gaming - there is no call for "close consideration."  Besides, how can you study something that isn't there?
  2. It appears CSIG dabbles in mind-reading.  More to the point, while Congress might have shirked their duty, the individual states had a chance to consider the issue, and three states (NJ, NV, and DE) went forward.  More states have discussed the matter FULLY, and will follow.  Is anyone surprised that Congress dragged its feet - on this, or anything, for that matter?
  3. But sites in NJ, NV, and DE aren't ROGUE sites.  They are legitimate, regulated poker sites that have been shown to draw players FROM the ROGUE sites.  Players in states without a legit site STILL play at Full Flush, Carbon, and many others.  Not so easy, huh?
  4. We already pooh-poohed the cigs above.  And isn't it interesting that they toss in the pharms from Canada, which many believe were banned not to "keep us safe from bad drugs," but to keep U.S. Pharmaceutical companies profits high.  In other words, protectionism.  Kinda like RAWA (the Restore Adelson's Wampum Act).
  1. Tell the NRA this.
  2. It doesn't mean it's NOT OK.  Oh, and can we use this argument in Florida?  Seems there is a casino developer who wants to come into the state and build a casino near DisneyWorld. Think of the children!  Oh,'s the same guy who wants to end online gaming!  I am shocked, shocked...
  3. Again, many states considered the serious social and policy ramifications...and moved forward.
Well, that's about half of the so called "myths and claims" - and that's about all I can stomach for now. Watch for Part Two later this week (hopefully before Adelson addresses the multitudes at the Global Gaming Expo).  As always, your comments are welcome.

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