Will Internet Sports Gambling Save The Economy?

Remember, if you will, the halcyon days of 2005. The market was fine, houses were worth more than 17 cents, and gambling online was still easily possible, if still shady. In 2006, the government slapped gambling websites with a cold, dead trout across the face, unleashing the UIGEA (or Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act) that made all aspects of gambling online, including the payment systems, illegal. Shortly thereafter, the economy went into the crapper. We think this is no mere coincidence.

Barney Frank
(Internet gamblers’ new hero in Washington?)

But now as Congress tries to figure out how the hell to fix the economy (why we’re leaving that task to a few hundred professional campaigners, who the hell knows), one idea seems to have gained traction: legalizing online gambling and taxing the bejesus out of it. THE SPORTS BIZ BLOG mentions some boilerplate nonsense from Rep. Barney Frank, the Chairman of the Financial Services Committee (remember him?) about impinging on freedoms or whatever, then gets down to the real reason behind the move: UNHOLY AMOUNTS OF TAX MONEY. Read more…

Frank Rips CitiField Then Welcomes Bank Money

Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank is one of the most powerful politicians in the country, serving as head of the House Financial Services Committee. And lately, he’s been one of the more outspoken critics of banks receiving bailout money paying big bucks for corporate sponsorships, complaining to the NEW YORK TIMES about Citigroup’s 20-year, $400 million stadium naming deal with the Mets that “marketing expenses should be for real marketing, not ego boosts, which is what I think naming rights are.

Barney Frank

Which is a reasonable position to take; I don’t know if I agree with his assessment that no one “has ever opened a bank account or decided to buy a CD because a bank’s name is on the stadium” - if that’s the case, why do any marketing at all - but it’s a valid point. Of course, when you read Darren Rovell’s column on CNBC today, you start to get a sense that his motives might not be so pure.

Read more…