Call me crazy but, despite the awful Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), in all probability there are a number of US congressmen and women out there still visiting their favorite online casinos and poker rooms.
How did I arrive at this assessment? Simple; according to the American Gaming Association’s website, in 2005 an estimated 23 million people gambled over the Internet. Of these, approximately 8 million gamblers were from the United States. With a total population of around 300 million, 8 million would account for about 3% of the total US population. Which begs the question: Can the same factor of 3% also be applied in order to guesstimate the number of Senators and House Representatives who possibly gambled online prior to the UIGEA’s passage? If so, that number would amount to some 15 legislators (435 Representatives + 100 Senators = 535 x 3% = 15).
In all fairness though, these 15 should be given the benefit of the doubt, especially in this post-UIGEA era when it is assumed that US players, including those notorious 15 enjoying the benefit of the doubt, have ceased placing wagers online out of fear of being prosecuted. But have they stopped?
According to more recent statistics released by Gamblers Anonymous , around four to six percent of gamblers become problem or pathological (compulsive) gamblers. Based on these figures, it’s safe to say that of the 15 guilty online gambling politicians (with the benefit of the doubt), at least one of them has a serious problem, and if not a gambling problem then definitely a problem of being found out. Given this probability, we online gaming proponents can only think of two words: ‘witch’ and ‘hunt.’
I believe a mere rumor suggesting that some investigative reporter is scratching beneath the Congressional surface in a quest to expose those politicians still gambling over the Internet can help reverse the online gambling prohibition, which everyone knows is being easily circumvented anyhow. Hmmm, sounds like a plan, Stan.